Older People Living with Cancer

Peer advocates supporting older people affected by cancer

Divided in Dying

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I should like to congratulate our colleagues in Compassion for Dying for an excellent report that highlights the need for better advance care planning at the end of life and the urgent need to put in place workable guidance to replace the Liverpool Care Pathway as soon as possible.

This report highlights the key findings from a survey of the general public on the recording of end-of-life treatment and care wishes. It also draws on people’s individual’s experiences of their loved one’s end of life and makes recommendations for practice.

Our Cancer Advocacy Support Volunteers have made good use of the training they received from Compassion in Dying helping to spread the word that active planning for death can go a long way to ensuring that we are able to have the death we wish for.

Last year I spent some time in India and whilst there observed several funeral pyres on the banks of the Ganges. I was struck by the acceptance of the indian people of death as an everyday part of life. People were reverential. respectful and mourned openly in public. I really admire this way of dealing with death, openly and accepting it’s naturalness as a part of life and something that will one day come to us all. Perhaps we can all learn something from this approach, thinking about death then talking about and sharing our wishes for when the time comes may just be the start of a more open approach. Who knows, in time this may become the norm.

 

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Author: kathparson

Chief Executive of Older People's Advocacy Alliance (UK)

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