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Dignity in Dying promotes Dying Matters Awareness Week

Dignity in Dying joins the just under 7,000 members of the Dying Matters
Coalition for a week of action to encourage 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.

Dying Matters Coalition has been set up by the National Council for Palliative
Care (NCPC), to raise awareness and provide the support and information needed
to have these conversations with loved ones. It aims to help make dying well a
natural part of a good life and through this help change attitudes and
behaviours towards dying, death and bereavement and raise the profile and
improve end of life care.

commissioned by the Dying Matters Coalition shows that less than a third (29%)
of people have discussed their wishes around dying and only 4% have written
advance care plans. Consequently, despite 70% of us saying that we’d like to
die at home, currently 60% die in hospitals, illustrating the importance of
talking openly about our wishes if we want them to be met.

Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying said: “We are delighted to be part of such an important initiative. We can only provide choice at the end of life
if people express their wishes in advance. If the Coalition leads to more open conversation about death and dying
then it will ultimately help more people to have what they consider to be a
good death.”

programme of events to highlight Dying Matters Awareness Week will be taking
place across the country, organised by Dying Matters members, who include
organisations from across the NHS and the voluntary and independent health and
care sectors, including hospices, care homes, charities supporting old people,
children and bereavement, from social care and housing sectors, from a wide
range of faith organisations, community organisations, schools and colleges,
academic bodies, trade unions, the legal profession and from the funeral sector.

Fisher, Director of the Dying Matters Coalition said: “This week is a great
opportunity for people to begin conversations, it is in everyone’s interest to
talk about the practicalities and how we feel about dying before it is too
late. Knowing loved ones have died where they wanted to be and had the funeral
they would have wished can bring enormous comfort to those left behind.”

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Notes to editors

For further information regardingDignity in Dying please call Jo Cartwright on 02074797737 or
e-mail at:

For further information on the Dying Matters Coalition, please call freephone
08000 21 44 66 or at email, or visit the website at

The comments in this release represent the views of Dignity in Dying and do not necessarily represent the views of the
Dying Matters Coalition or other member organisations.

Details of the End of Life Care Strategy are available from:

Statistics: NatCen survey on attitudes towards dying, death and bereavement
commissioned on behalf of Dying Matters, July – September 2009.