Dying Matters Awareness Week 2021 is running from 10 to 16 May and this year the week is focusing on being in a good place to die. This could mean physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually or digitally - or any combination.

There is no right or wrong place to die; it will be different for everyone. But it’s important for families to think about it, to talk about it and to plan for it. Getting there means having some important conversations, and taking some careful decisions. 

Planning for death is more important than ever in a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has taken so many lives at such short notice, and in circumstances that are beyond our control. Here we give you a chance to look at the different aspects of planning to be ready to die and how these can affect you and those left behind. 

Physical and emotional planning

Dying Matters research shows that, when asked, more than four in five people say they would prefer to die at home. The research also shows that nearly a quarter of UK adults are uncomfortable thinking about their own death and end of life issues. Three quarters (74%) of people haven't written down their wishes or told people what they would prefer at the end of life. 

Advance care planning is one aspect of planning for the end of life that will help you get the kind of care you would prefer. It also opens up the conversations about talking about death. Find out more about how to plan for the end of life on the Which? Later Life Care website.

Here at Katharine House Hospice, we support end of life care at home, in the hospice and at the Horton General Hospital.

Financial planning

By making a will and planning your funeral you will know that you are helping those left behind when you die.

If you are thinking about making a will, you might want to consider leaving a gift to Katharine House Hospice. This is one of the most valuable and lasting ways you can make a difference to local families facing life-limiting illness. You might also want to leave a legacy gift in memory of a loved one who is no longer with us.

For advice about planning a funeral, see the Which? Later Life Care page.

Spiritual care

Spiritual care is an important aspect of the services we provide at Katharine House. You can read more about the work that we do with our patients and their families and friends on our spiritual care page.

Digital assets 

Planning for what will happen to your digital assets, such as your social media accounts, online banking and information on your personal computer, when you die is another important aspect of planning for the end of life.

As so much of our lives is on the internet, it’s worth taking time to understand end of life policies and processes for each digital asset that you own and use.

For more information, visit the Digital Legacy Association.

Sharing your plans

Making plans for the end of life is but one step towards knowing that everything will be passed on as you would wish. The next step is to share your wishes with trusted family members or friends. Consider talking through your plans with those close to you and give them the opportunity for input, especially if they are to carry out your wishes.

Keep important documents about your care, financial matters or funeral in a safe place and let loved ones know where they are.

About Dying Matters 

Launched in 2009, Dying Matters has been part of Hospice UK since July 2017. The Dying Matters campaign aims to create an open culture that talks about death and where people feel able to listen and support those who are planning for end of life, who are dying and who have been bereaved. 

Dying Matters wants to break the stigma around death, to challenge preconceptions and to normalise public openness around death and dying.

You can join the conversations on social media this week on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @DyingMatters or follow #InAGoodPlace and #DMAW21.

Katharine House Hospice