Older People Living with Cancer

Peer advocates supporting older people affected by cancer

End of Life: useful resources

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Following my blog last week on Palliative Care and End of Life – difficult topics, I have picked up some useful links from the first of the three training events I am going to over the next few weeks.  At the Conference, Professor Mayur Lakhani, Chair of the National Council for Palliative Care gave an excellent talk on the challenges and priorities. He also chairs the Dying Matters Coalition.

Dying Matters

Dying Matters is a broad based and inclusive national coalition of 28,000 members, which aims to change public knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards dying, death and bereavement.

In 2009, the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) set up the Dying Matters Coalition to promote public awareness of dying, death and bereavement. It is chaired by Professor Mayur Lakhani, who is a practising GP. The work of the Coalition is supported by Professor Sir Mike Richards, National Director for Cancer and End of Life Care, and by the NCPC’s Board of Trustees.

The Coalition’s Mission is “to support changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards death, dying and bereavement, and through this to make ‘living and dying well’ the norm”. This will involve a fundamental change in society in which dying, death and bereavement will be seen and accepted as the natural part of everybody’s life cycle. Changes in the way society views dying and death have impacted on the experience of people who are dying and bereaved. Our lack of openness has affected the quality and range of support and care services available to patients and families. It has also affected our ability to die where or how we would wish.

The Dying Matters Coalition is working to address this by encouraging people to talk about their wishes towards the end of their lives, including where they want to die and their funeral plans with friends, family and loved ones.

Talking about dying makes it more likely that you, or your loved one, will die as you might have wished and it will make it easier for your loved ones if they know you have had a ‘good death’.

http://www.dyingmatters.org/page/awareness-week-2013-announced

Professor Lakhani also talked about the National Council for Palliative Care and the recent National Council for Palliative Care Influencing toolkit

They have designed a toolkit to empower local people to push for the right end of life care services following reform of the health and social care system.

What about end of life care? is a practical toolkit designed to help the public and professionals understand the new health and care structures and develop the relationships required to secure high quality end of life care.

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Finally Dr Neil Bacon, Founder and CEO, iWantGreatCare.org, highlightedthe most significant point that “The patient experience is  fundamental to everything that happens. Further information is available on the web-site:  http://iwgc.org/

Kath Curley

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Author: Marie McWilliams

OPAAL's National Development Officer

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