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Southern Trust encourage people to talk openly about dying and bereavement

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has hosted an event to raise awareness of the importance of getting people talking about dying, death and bereavement, and making plans for their end of life.

It was held to mark Dying Matters Awareness Week, which runs from May 9 to 15.

Angela McVeigh, Director of Older People and Primary Care for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, said talking about death and dying can be a very difficult and sensitive topic that many avoid, whether we ill or in full health.

She explained: “Through Dying Matters Awareness Week, we are encouraging everyone to start to think, plan and talk openly about their wishes for what they would want in the event of their death or becoming unable to make decisions for themselves.

“Health and social care staff want to ensure that everyone approaching the end of their life dies with dignity and compassion.

“If you have planned ahead and shared your wishes with loved ones or your health professional, these can be taken into account should decisions need to be made on your behalf.

“Knowing that your wishes have been fulfilled can bring comfort to your loved ones. When these important details have been sorted out, you can then get on with the important task of living life to the full.”

The event included discussion on the five key areas promoted during Dying Matters Awareness Week: writing a will, recording your funeral wishes, planning your future care, considering registering as an organ donation, and telling your loved ones your wishes.

Further information designed to help everyone, whatever their situation, to begin conversations about end of life issues can be found on www.dyingmatters.org and www.thinkahead.ie.

The Southern Trust provides a range of services for patients and families with Palliative and End of Life needs, for more information contact Aileen Mulligan, Palliative Care Service Lead, Tel: 07766 607 852 Email: aileen.mulligan@southerntrust.hscni.net.

Picture: Deirdre McKenna, Specialist Palliative Care Social Worker; Aileen Mulligan, Macmillan Team Leader Roberta Brownlee, Southern Trust Chair; Anne Coyle, Bereavement Co-Ordinator;  Angela McVeigh, Director of Older People & Primary Care; Edel Livingstone, Organ Donation Nurse; Mr Ian Milne, Funeral Director.

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