22nd April 2016 – A café to talk about dying at Airedale Hospital
A special café is being set up in part of Airedale Hospital’s restaurant where people can talk about a taboo subject – death.
The Death Café is being organised by the palliative care team on Wednesday 4 May, between 11.30am and 2.30pm, as part of national Dying Matters Awareness Week. Staff and visitors are invited to join the team in a relaxed atmosphere for discussion about dying and bereavement, with refreshments on hand.
There will be a chance to write messages to place on a ‘memories tree’ and a range of leaflets and resources for visitors.
Set up by the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) in 2009, Dying Matters Awareness Week (9 – 15 May 2016) aims to encourage people to talk about their own end of life issues with friends, family and loved ones in order to make ‘a good death’ possible for the 500,000 people who die in England each year.
This year the theme of the national raising awareness event is ‘The Big Conversation’ and staff will be encouraging patients, their families and carers and their colleagues to tackle this difficult subject and make plans for when it happens.
Research shows there is a major mismatch between people’s preferences for where they would like to die and their actual place of death. Seventy percent of people would prefer to die at home but around half currently die in hospital.
Fiona Widdowson, End of Life Care Facilitator at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Every minute someone in the UK dies, but many of us still do not feel comfortable talking about dying.
“Many people have specific wishes about their end of life care or what they would like to happen to them after their death, but they are reluctant to discuss them, making it much less likely that they will be met.
“Talking more openly about dying can help you to make the most of life and to support loved ones.
“With people living for longer with life limiting illnesses, discussing dying is increasingly important. If you don’t talk to your loved ones about their wishes you may be risking leaving it too late.”
Throughout Dying Matters Awareness Week, there will be displays in Outpatients and on the upper landing above the entrance to the Trust Headquarters. The event will be listed on the Death Café website www.deathcafe.com and the Dying Matters Awareness Week listings www.dyingmatters.org/BigConversation.