Dying matters is a website for those in the final months of their lives, their families, friends and carers. Their aim is to help to support people to be able to die as they wish.
As well as practical information on what to do when someone dies, it also has an online forum where people can post about their experiences of death and their concerns.
Dying Matters currently have over 30,000 members talking about dying.
For more information see: http://help.dyingmatters.org/
Death café (which is part of the impermanence group of projects surrounding death and dying) founded in 2011 is a place for people to eat, drink and discuss anything they like surrounding death and dying.
They hold both face to face groups and have also started trialling online chat groups.
So far around 1,000 people have attended Death Café’s in England, Wales, the U.S., Canada, Australia and Italy.
The Death Café’s objective is “To increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives”.
For further information about your nearest Death Café see:
The Legacy Centre is an online web platform to help people talk about later life, death and legacy, allowing people to prepare for end of life.
The website is in its infancy at the moment, but it plans to host people’s legacies though film and videos, and provide tips and tools for families wanting to prepare for the end of life and create products (like home movies and charting why certain items are special to an older person) for future generations to access.
The Legacy Centre are currently looking for partners and backers to prototype the idea. For more information see:
A Good Death is a support service for people who are coming to the end of their lives or have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, to make the practical arrangements and choices necessary to enable them to remain in their own home for as long as possible.
Support can include organising aids and adaptations to make life easier; applying for benefits; putting affairs in order; learning a new skill; taking up a new hobby; or finding someone to talk to; face to face, or using social media and other online services.
A Good Death is being tested in Newcastle by ‘Home’, one of the UK’s largest supported housing and care providers, with 55,000 homes across the UK.
Creating memories is an intergenerational project to encourage conversations towards the end of life.
In the prototype, 12 students and 4 patients from The Peace Hospice, worked together to produce a mixed media memory picture about the patients’ lives. The artwork incorporated photographs of objects, pictures and memorabilia collected by patients, which told the story of significant events for them.
To celebrate the project, they had an exhibition and tea party where patients’ families, the students and members of the community visited the hospice.
Peace Hospice hope to make the project a regular part of the service offered to patients in end of life care.
Aintree Hospital has a well-established volunteer programme, which began in 1997 with volunteers acting as listeners and guides for relatives in A&E. In an average week 800 volunteers provide over 3200 hours of voluntary service in the hospital performing tasks like sitting with patients who need company, serving refreshments and signposting relatives. The service has very high retention rates of volunteers and also acts as a way back to work for many – with volunteers who have served from more than 100 hours having access to a ring fenced interview for any Healthcare Assistant posts in the hospital. Many of the volunteers are older people.
The hospital is currently prototyping a volunteer service on five palliative care wards. Since May 2012, 20 very experienced volunteers have worked with more than 71 patients and their families to provide companionship, comfort and support. Feedback from an initial survey of patients and their relatives has been overwhelmingly positive.
The scheme is being replicated at The Royal Hospital, Liverpool. Aintree are also hoping to expand the service onto wards with dementia patients, using a reminiscence garden and other features to help stir memory and reduce agitation.
For more information see: http://www.aintreehospitals.nhs.uk/careers_at_aintree/voluntary_work.asp