Why talk about it?

Talking about death doesn't bring death closer. It's about planning for life. Without communication and understanding, death and terminal illness can be a lonely and stressful experience, both for the person who is dying and for their friends and family.

Dying people and their families can experience a tremendous sense of isolation. They can feel shut out of social circles and distanced from their communities.

A lack of conversation is perhaps the most important reason why peoples’ wishes go ignored or unfulfilled; if we do not know how to communicate what we want, and those around us do not know how to listen, it is almost impossible to express a clear choice.

It has been said that what we fear most about dying is the associated loss of control. By empowering patients to express their wishes, that control can be restored.

Dying Matters believes that promoting openness and communication are the first steps to achieving this. We are committed to supporting changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviour around death and dying, and aim to encourage a greater willingness to engage on death and bereavement issues.

Key Facts

  • Just 13% of adults say they’ve let a close friend or family member know where they want to be when they die (rising to only 15% among over 55s)
  • Fewer than one in ten (8%) have put in place medical and/or emotional support for the end of their lives (dropping to 6% among over-55s)
  • Just three in ten (31%) adults know how to make arrangements to ensure they die in the place they would wish to
  • Only one in five (20%) adults believe they will be able to control where they are at the end of life.

Share Your Story

Hearing about others' experiences can be helpful when dealing with death and bereavement. Do you have a personal experience that you'd feel comfortable sharing with the campaign? If so, let us know...

Share Your Story

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Which of the following describes how you would feel talking to someone close to you about their end of life wishes.