This week is Dying Matters week and I have been talking to people from Holy Brook colleagues to Anne Diamond on her BBC Berkshire Radio station about the importance of thinking about death and the end of life.
A number of people have commented how morbid this might be or depressing. Obviously to an extent it is but in my experience actually the people who work in end of life – from funeral directors, to hospice workers to people who are looking at how to improve policy seem to have something in common.
It is a sense of life and the importance of ensuring that their life is lived to the full. This ranges from a council worker who climbed Kilimanjaro in her 50s to Baroness Greengross who has devoted her life to looking at aging and end of life to a young care worker I met who supports patients with dementia.
They all believe in a life well lived and that death and end of life may be the end of our story (at least on this earth) but that it is an important part of our story.
I believe that the approach to end of life in this country can be better. With an aging population, public sector austerity alongside huge potential for using digital technology and information to change our approach to death both as a community and for professionals involved changes are coming anyway – we can do more to help more people have a good death. We have one chance to get it right.
If you are interested in this area please get in touch – I am always happy to discuss how we can improve this– what is the harm in reaching out? After all as the twitter tag says: #YODO (#Youonlydieonce)