As part of Dying Matters week in 2015, a free one day event was organised on the Fylde Coast. A total of 174 attended the day, 118 delegates and 56 stall holders, with a mix of health and social care professionals, members of the public and professionals with an interest in the subject such as faith leaders, funeral directors and solicitors.
All the people attending the day including the stall holders were asked to select their top three wishes from the list used by “Stories for Life” when exploring end of life issues within communities.
To die in the place of my choice
To meet with clergy, a chaplain or spiritual person
To maintain my dignity
To have someone who knows and speaks up for my values and priorities
To have my funeral arrangements made
To have my family/friend with me
To be treated the way I want
To be free from pain
To be able to talk about my worries and concerns.
The clear top three statements were to have care that ensured the individual was:
free from pain
enabled to have family and friends with them
delivered in a way that maintained their dignity
Having choice has been highlighted as a key theme within end of life care. Whilst the choices may change this shows that people are able and are willing to express their preferences around end of life care in a public arena and with relative strangers. Their top choice is not about where they are cared for, but who is with them and how that care is delivered.
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