Taking place between 10-16 May, Dying Matters returns this week to encourage open and honest conversations around death, dying and bereavement. The theme for 2021 is #InAGoodPlace to die. After a year unlike any other, this may seem like an unusual choice. Many families were left utterly bereft with the loss felt and being in a good place to die might have felt unachievable while the NHS was under incredible strain, families had to mourn separately, and funeral numbers were limited.These experiences should not be downplayed. We recognise that those grieving during COVID-19 have had to do so under exceptional circumstances. However, the pandemic has undeniably put death and bereavement at the forefront of the conversation. Many are now starting to consider end of life plans for the first time but at this early stage, have yet to put actionable plans in place.
The latest stats from Hospice UK suggest that just 13% of adults say that they’ve let a family member or close friend know where they want to die, and just 30% know how to make the right arrangement to die in the place of their choosing.
This comes as it’s revealed that more than four in five people say that they would prefer to die at home, and the number of deaths in homes are predicted to increase by almost 90% in England and Wales by 2040. However, we don’t know enough about what the reality of this looks like. 60,000 excess deaths were experienced during the pandemic and 29% of all deaths in Wales were in people’s own homes during 2020. Yet these were extraordinary circumstances, and it is unlikely that the same experience will be replicated post-pandemic. Instead, we hope that those in our community and beyond will be able to put plans in place to end their life with dignity and in the way that they would like to.
But we believe that being in a good place to die is more than just about your physical space. It’s also about having the right care, emotional support, and practical plans in place for both the individual and the loved ones left behind. At Coles, we’ve been big advocates for encouraging open conversations around death, dying and bereavement and are fully supporting Dying Matters Week once again.
We’ll be supporting the week by:
- Joining the conversation on social media
- Sharing helpful resources
- Offering advice on how to start a conversation around death, the funeral and more
Also, for those looking to plan ahead with the knowledge and resources gained this week, we can help you to celebrate your life your way with our funeral plans. Whatever you need, even if it’s just an initial consultation, our expert team will be with you every step of the way.
We’re in #InAGoodPlace to talk, are you? If you’d like to join the conversation on social media this week, just use the hashtag #DMAW21.