End of life care nurses urge local people to talk about their wishes and plans

Posted: May 13, 2019

It's Dying Matters Week

To kick start Dying Matters Week, end of life care nurse specialists from the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are reaching out to local people in several locations across Swindon and the surrounding area, to offer them some support and guidance around planning ahead for the end of life. 

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The Trust's end of life team specialises in supporting staff who look after patients in hospital and out in the community at this stage in their lives. Specialists say that patients who talk about their wishes and record their plans have made the process that much easier for their families and loved ones. 

Lorraine Hart, end of life care nurse specialist said: "Conversations about dying can be difficult, but we have found that it's so important for people to talk openly about what they would like to happen, not only for themselves but for their loved ones too. 

"By reaching out to the local community, our hope is that more people will start talking to their families about important decisions, such as sorting out their digital assets and passwords. Planning ahead can also be as simple as downloading photos and videos from the cloud to share them with your loved ones. 

"Not only will this give you peace of mind, it will also help your loved ones to feel involved in your decisions and make sure they are not left guessing what you want." 

Timothy Whiting, 65 from West Swindon whose wife, Riny, 63 died from mesothelioma cancer six months ago said: "It was shocking and extremely difficult for us when we were told that Riny's condition wasn't going to get any better, but it never stopped her from talking to our family about what she wanted. 

"Riny spoke to me about everything, from sorting out legal documents and rearranging the furniture at home, to planning her own funeral. Because she spoke about it first, I felt comfortable and confident to carry on doing what she wanted me to do. 

"We were never in denial and Riny knew what was most important to her for the time she had left - spending time at home with our family, so we had nurses to help us with her medication at home, and we are so thankful that she received the most excellent care from them. 

"When Riny died, she was at peace as we had said and discussed everything possible. I am enormously grateful to Riny that she was brave enough to be so open about talking about death. Riny's bravery enabled us to experience some extra special moments and has made the difficult process of grieving much more bearable. 

"My message regarding death is don't be afraid, be brave and talk about death. I hope more people will start having open conversations with their loved ones." 

Events this week

The end of life nurse specialists will be visiting the following locations:

  • Defence Academy
    Shrivenham
    Monday 13 May
    11.30am - 2.30pm
  • Atrium
    Great Western Hospitals
    Wednesday 15 May
    11.30am - 2.30pm
  • Nationwide Building Society Headquarters
    Thursday 16 May
    11.30am - 2.30pm 
  • The Academy
    Great Western Hospital
    Thursday 16 May
    6.00pm - 8.00pm

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