Dying Matters Weel

What can you do?’ is the question being asked in May, as we mark Dying Matters Awareness Week which runs from 8 – 14 May.

The nationally promoted week has been organised by the Dying Matters Coalition to encourage people to talk openly about dying, death and bereavement. Throughout Dying Matters Awareness Week, events and activities are being held up and down the country to raise awareness about end of life issues.

The aim of the week this year is to encourage people to be more active in planning for dying and death and helping support those who may need it in times of grief and bereavement, be they friends, family or in your wider community.

During the week people will be encouraged to take five simple steps to make their end of life experience better, both for them and for their loved ones. These are:

This year at St Luke’s our focus is on Advance Care Planning and capacity building, which includes the launch of our Advance Care Plan card. As with an organ donor card, the card will hold key details that will alert a medical professional that you have an Advance Care Plan in place that should, if possible, be followed.

The card will be the size of a credit card and will come with a keyring fob. It will include your name and your next of kin or significant other’s details; someone who is fully aware of your wishes, where your Advance Care Plan is held, and who can be contacted if the time comes.

The ACP cards will be available at our specialist unit at Turnchapel, at Derriford Hospital, at all our upcoming education sessions and will be sent out to all the local nursing and residential homes. They will also be available at our Dying Matters promotional stands, offering advice during the course of the week.

We will be supporting Dying Matters Awareness Week with our promotional stands at the following locations; Tuesday 9 May outside the Town Hall in Tavistock and on Thursday 11 May at our Plymouth city centre shop.

There will also be stands in Derriford Hospital throughout the week, encouraging the public to think about what they can do. On Tuesday 9 May, there will be a stand in the level seven restaurant between 9am and 12pm and in the level three cafe between 2-4pm. On Wednesday 10 May there will be a stand in the Mustard Tree Centre between 9am-12pm. Denise Allen from Co-Op Funeralcare will be holding a session between 2-4pm also in the Mustard Centre. Finally on Thursday 11 May, there will be a stand at the Coffeeshark Cafe in the Post Graduate Medical Centre.

For more information on Dying Matters Awareness Week visit www.dyingmatters.org