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Dying is a major life event, says the NHS during Dying Matters Week

4th May 2022 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in

During Dying Matters Week (2-6 May 2022) the local NHS is encouraging people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to talk more openly about dying and to plan ahead for their end of life care.

Dr Reema Parwaiz, GP and clinical lead for end of life with the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “For most big life events, such as weddings, we will plan ahead down to every detail, but when it comes to dying we don’t consider this most important phase in our lives, which will happen to all of us at some time. End of life discussions tend to be initiated by healthcare professionals, and very few people have already considered what would be important to them.

“Planning ahead will make it easier for loved ones and for the person themselves, when the time comes. It’s never too early to speak to those close to you and plan or discuss what your preference would and wouldn’t be in terms of where you receive care at the end of your life, whether that’s at home, in a hospice, care home or hospital.

“Dying Matters Week is a good chance to get talking about dying and grief. We want everyone to be in a good place when they die, whatever that means for them.”

The website www.dyingmattersleicestershireandrutland.com aims to support people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland through every stage of dying, death and bereavement by providing comprehensive information, including details of the many health and care support services available across both counties.

The website addresses many difficult questions, such as what to expect during the last days and how to prepare and support loved ones, including children, through loss.

For people coming to the end of their life, there is advice for people to start those difficult discussions with loved ones and the website highlights the importance of end of life planning, by putting key documents in place such as an Advance Care Plan and ReSpect form, to ensure each person is able to have the best end of life possible.

There is also comprehensive information for people who are bereaved, covering the practicalities and legalities of reporting a death and organising a funeral, as well as listing a wide range of bereavement support organisations, including drop-in centres and organisations that provide religious and spiritual support.

Dr Parwaiz added: “The past two years since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic have reminded us, in no uncertain terms, that life is anything but predictable. It has also highlighted just how important it is to have the information you need in order to plan ahead, as this helps everyone concerned.

“So I would really encourage talking about dying and death, you may well find that starting the conversation is not as hard as you might expect.”


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