Improving public awareness of end of life issues among older people in North Lancashire: A peer education approach

13 August 2010
There is increasing interest nationally and locally in raising public awareness about end of life issues, particularly around planning for the future with respect to care needs. Local PCT, NHS North Lancashire, has recently funded a research project to develop a locally appropriate peer education programme on end of life issues for older adults.

The project was undertaken by the Lancaster Peer Education Group, whose membership comprises members of the public working with a university researcher. As part of the project, a personal portfolio has been designed to help people to record individually focused information about themselves and their future care needs towards the end of life. Two workshops were held for older adults and professional staff and volunteers working with older people to explore these issues further. These workshops were attended by 35 participants and a number of important issues around planning for future care were identified that require further action.

This project has shown that there is a need for, and interest in, public awareness work around end of life issues in the Lancaster area. Although currently a useable document, there is scope to further refine the portfolio and discussions also need to take place to consider how to make it available to the wider population in appropriate ways. The workshop format that was delivered was helpful for participants, but further consideration is required to find ways to reach a wider audience of older people and professionals, especially staff from social care and the voluntary sector. The Peer Education group is seeking support to develop a further series of workshops to address the information needs identified in this project.

For further information about this project or to receive details of future events, please contact Katherine Froggatt on 01524 593308 or e-mail peeredeol@lancaster.ac.uk

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