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Campaign urges speak openly and honestly about death and dying

To break the stigma and ensure their final wishes are known, people in Staffordshire are being encouraged to speak openly and honestly about death and dying.

‘Dying Matters, Staffordshire’, a new campaign by the Staffordshire Health and Wellbeing Board, aims to help people drop the euphemisms about death, and instead talk openly about what they want to happen when they die.

A recent survey revealed that nearly three-quarters of those surveyed had not discussed what their wishes would be if they did not have long to live.  For 61% of these people, this was because they either felt too young or because death felt a long way off. Nearly 80 percent of people also didn’t have any written plans for their end of life care, financial wishes or funeral plans.  Added to this, just one-third of people had told their loved ones where they wanted to die.

The county council has teamed up with national charity Dying Matters to change this and to give Staffordshire’s residents a clear and trusted source of advice on planning for the end of life.

County Councillor Alan White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing said:  “Most people don’t like talking about death, and this makes it hard to plan the end of life that we really want.  This campaign is all about breaking the stigma that surrounds death, so we can have honest, healthy discussions.  That way, we are more likely to get the care that we want, have the best possible quality of life, and might be able to spend our last moments where and how we’d like.”

The campaign website www.dyingmattersstaffs.org has advice and resources for people who want to broach the subject with their family, as well as information on other aspects such as Power of Attorney and stating preferences for future medical treatment.

Charles Pidsley, Joint Chair of the Staffordshire Health and Wellbeing Board said:  “Making time to have honest conversations about your end of life wishes is really important, and the best time to do it is while you are well.  We know that having these conversations can be hard, but there is a wealth of resources available to help people break the stigma and have meaningful conversations about their dying wishes.”

For more information, visit https://www.dyingmatters.org/page/dying-matters-staffordshire.

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