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Norfolk events aim to open up conversation about death

PUBLISHED: 14:01 01 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:01 01 May 2019

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. NNUH

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. NNUH

Archant © 2018

One of the most difficult, but most important, conversations anyone can have is about dying.

And that is why a host of events in Norfolk will be aiming to make the conversation a little bit easier during Dying Matters week from May 13 to

At the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) an Are You Ready? event is open to staff and the public in the East Atrium from 9am to 4pm on Tuesday, May 13 to 19.

“We want to raise awareness of the importance of discussing death with your loved ones and putting all the measures in place to ensure that, when the time comes, you are prepared,” said Anna Farrar, specialist palliative care nurse.

“This can include writing your will and an advance care plan, recording your wishes for your funeral and setting up lasting power of attorney. This will help ensure people you trust are making financial and medical decisions on your behalf should the worst happen and you're unable to do so yourself.”

Activities on the day include talks in the Benjamin Gooch Lecture Theatre about:

• Advance care planning (10-11am);

You may also want to watch:

• Where do you want to die? (11.30-12.30 am);

• Living well as dementia progresses (2-3pm);

• Butterfly volunteers, who support individuals and their families in hospital during their final hours (3-4pm).

Palliative care doctor and author Kathryn Mannix will argue that it is time to break the taboo around death in the video Dying is not as Bad as you Think, and the film Island will be shown, featuring four people's experience in the final year of their lives, showing death as natural and every day, but also unspeakable and strange.

The Norfolk and Waveney Palliative and End of Life Collaborative, in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, will also hold an event on May 9, at the Forum, Norwich.

Alongside talks from charities such as Nelson's Journey there will be more than 20 stands providing information about end of life and palliative care and the annual Death Café will be open to provide tea, coffee, cake and an opportunity to talk.

Presentations will be given by various organisations and pupils from The Norwich School will be reading their work on death, dying and grieving as part of a project titled I Wish I Had Spoken Earlier.

Becky Cooper, head of palliative services at Norfolk Community Health and Care added: “The Dying Matters event is important as we have to raise awareness amongst professionals and the public as the subject of death and dying is still seen as taboo. It is key that we are able to support patients and families at end of life to ensure they have a peaceful and dignified death as the death of a loved one lives on.”

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