Dying is a subject that is often not the topic of everyday conversations which is why the local NHS and Leeds City Council are looking at a more creative approach to get people to think about end of life during Dying Matters Awareness Week (18-24 May).
The three NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups (NHS Leeds North CCG, NHS Leeds South and East CCG, NHS Leeds West CCG) are asking local people to submit their top five things they would like to before they die.
This ‘bucket list’ will be open for people across the city, and beyond, to contribute to online: www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/what-will-you-have-on-your-bucket-list/?. To get the ball rolling the city’s healthcare leaders, as well as colleagues from Leeds City Council, have shared their lists.
The national Dying Matters Coalition, who organise Dying Matters Awareness Week are calling on people not to leave it too late to plan ahead and to make their wishes known. Dying Matters, is therefore asking people to consider the following when making their plans:
1. Legal and financial matters;
2. Whether they would want to register as an organ donor;
3. End of life care;
4. How you would like to be remembered; and
5. Funeral plans.
Not everyone will want to discuss their plans for the last years of life as they may feel uncomfortable. However by planning and talking ahead it will mean that an individual’s wishes are more likely to be known by others close to them.
Joe Levenson, Director of Communications at Dying Matters, said: “The bucket list is a great project and fits in with our key theme for this year’s awareness week which is Talk, Plan and Live. This is an innovative way to get people to think about death in a way that could be easier to talk to friends about. We are pleased to be supporting this approach in Leeds and hope that it helps to show people that talking about end of life issues can be in all of our interests.”
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive member for health and wellbeing, said: “Talking about death and dying can be some of the most difficult conversations that a person can ever have with family and loved ones. But by breaking down that barrier and thinking about the things they would want, not only can people ensure their relatives know what their final wishes are, they can also make coping with their deaths that bit easier for those they leave behind.
“I hope that Dying Matters Awareness Week will encourage people to have these conversations and get them thinking about the things they would like to have in place when the time comes.”
In addition to asking people to share their ideas online, staff from the CCGs will be visiting local hospices to give residents a chance to share their thoughts. This will be shared live with St Gemma’s Hospice on Thursday 21 May at: www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/what-will-you-have-on-your-bucket-list/?
Anyone wanting to contribute to the Leeds bucket list can do so by visiting https://www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/what-will-you-have-on-your-bucket-list/?
Local support services
- St Gemma’s Hospice
St Gemma’s Hospice provides the best possible care and quality of life for local people with cancer and other life threatening illnesses. For further information visit: www.st-gemma.co.uk
- Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice
Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice provides incredible hospice care for people living in the North West, West and South of Leeds, they provide holistic and personalised end of life care. For further information visit: www.sueryder.org
- Leeds Bereavement Forum
The Leeds Bereavement Forum supports the need in society to express grief and to come to terms with loss. The Forum works to develop and improve bereavement services in Leeds by providing access to up-to-date information, training opportunities, events, conferences and Special Interest Groups to bereavement professionals. For further information visit: www.lbforum.org.uk
Keep up-to-date with all events taking place across the city by using #DyingMattersLDS and #TalkPlanLive on Twitter.
Twitter accounts for the three NHS Leeds CCGs:
- NHS Leeds North CCG – @NHSLeedsNorth
- NHS Leeds South and East CCG – @NHSLeedsSE
- NHS Leeds West CCG – @NHSLeedsWest
If you want to know what the Dying Matters Coalition will be doing during Dying Matters Awareness Week, follow them on Twitter @DyingMatters, tweet using #YODO or visit their website www.dyingmatters.org