What are your thoughts on leaving behind a virtual legacy, or sending messages to your loved ones digitally after you’ve gone?
It probably hasn’t really crossed your mind – it certainly wasn’t something I had ever considered, until I came across a website called Dead Social.
It’s a resource site filled with ideas, advice and guidance about how to make your social media presence future-proof, so that it outlives even you.
It won’t appeal to everyone, but the concept is that people think about leaving passwords and instructions with a trusted friend or relative, so that their accounts can either be shut down; act as a memorial page; or even continue to be updated with scheduled messages from the account-holder.
It’s pretty forward-thinking, but the premise of planning for the end-of-life and how you’d like to be remembered is a widely acknowledged subject, and is very much at the focus of social media conversation at the moment.
It’s Dying Matters Awareness Week; a national campaign encouraging people to get their affairs in order so that they, their loved ones, and health professionals have the knowledge and peace of mind that a person’s wishes are being respected with regards to their end-of-life care.
Practical tasks such as writing a will, considering joining the organ donor register, and making funeral arrangements are all advised. It’s also about speaking up about how and where you would prefer to spend your final days, and how you hope to be remembered.
It’s not easy to have these types of conversations – it can be emotional and upsetting, not least time-consuming. But Dying Matters aims to remove the taboo, fear and hassle of having discussions about death, and promotes the importance of planning for the end-of-life.
At St Catherine’s Hospice, our specialist doctors, nurses, counsellors and family support workers are committed to supporting patients and their families to have these types of difficult conversations. But the importance of recording your end-of-life wishes doesn’t just apply to those with life-shortening illnesses; it affects everybody.
That’s why our dedicated teams are taking to the streets of Leyland this Friday for the St Catherine’s Hospice Dying Matters Roadtrip!
They’re commandeering a vintage Fishwick’s double-decker bus, and will be visiting places such as Leyland Market, the town’s leisure centre, Tesco Extra, and Worden Park throughout the day to speak with members of the community for Dying Matters Week.
They’ll be joined by representatives from Cancer Help, the Department for Work and Pensions and Churches Together, as well as council neighbourhood officers, local solicitors and district nurses.
Look out for us at the following locations:
9am – St Catherine’s Hospice
10am – Leyland Market
11am – Tesco Extra
1pm – Leyland Leisure Centre
2pm – South Ribble Borough Council Civic Centre
3pm – Worden Park
If you spot the iconic bus, please feel welcome to hop on board and enjoy refreshments and a chat, to find out more about how St Catherine’s and our partners can advise and support you and your loved ones to tackle those tricky conversations and take the necessary steps to leave a legacy you can be proud of.
Our nurses and educators are also visiting some of our charity shops to raise awareness; they’ll be at Fulwood on Monday, Penwortham on Tuesday, and Longton on Wednesday, between 10am and noon.