Dying Matters Awareness Week 14 – 20 May
Small Actions – Big Difference
In 2009, the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) set up the Dying Matters Coalition to promote public awareness of dying, death and bereavement and this year’s theme is looking at small actions that make a big difference to lives of people with a life limiting illness.Members include organisations from across the NHS, voluntary and independent health and care sectors; social care and housing sectors; a wide range of faith organisations; community organisations; schools and colleges; academic bodies; trade unions; the legal profession and the funeral sector. St Catherine’s Hospice is also an active member of the Dying Matters coalition and is putting on a conference, in partnership with Derian House Children’s Hospice, for health and social care professionals looking at ‘Promoting Choice in End Of Life Care for Young Adults’ at the Chorley and South Ribble Hospital Education Centre on Monday 14th May 2012.Changes in the way society views dying and death have impacted on the experience of people who are dying and bereaved. Our lack of openness has affected the quality and range of support and care services available to patients and families. It has also affected our ability to die where or how we would wish.The Dying Matters Coalition is working to address this by encouraging people to talk about their wishes towards the end of their lives, including where they want to die and their funeral plans with friends, family and loved ones.Talking about dying makes it more likely that you, or your loved one, will die as you might have wished.This year’s theme is Small Actions Big Difference and we are highlighting, through photographs, some of the small things done by staff and volunteers at St Catherine’s Hospice that make a big difference to patients and families. Photographs by Nadia Bettaga.
It’s also aimed at encouraging other organisations and individuals to take simple steps that make a big difference to people when they are dying or bereaved. A survey by Help the Hospices last year revealed the small but meaningful gestures that hospice staff go to in order to help dying people to live well.Sixty per cent of hospice staff said that one of the most popular requests from patients with life-limiting and terminal illnesses was to see a beloved pet or spend the day with a favourite animal. Read more about the survey here