Milton Keynes residents invited to ‘break the taboo’ and talk about death

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People in Milton Keynes are invited to break the taboo and talk about death during Dying Matters Awareness Week 2017 which is running until Sunday.

The earlier that people talk about their dying wishes, the easier it can be emotionally and practically to deal with.

Dying Matters Awareness Week 2017 is being supported by NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) highlighting the importance of providing support through dying, death and bereavement.

This year’s theme ‘What Can You Do?’ aims to get people more active in planning for dying and death and helping support those who may need it in times of grief and bereavement, be they friends, family or the wider community.

Residents of Milton Keynes are encouraged to develop an Advanced Care Plan which allows you to document your wishes, including your feelings, beliefs, where you would like to be looked after and any personal preferences. More information about the Advanced Care Plan is available on most GP practice websites, Willen hospice website and the CCG website.

Anyone can create an Advanced Care Plan for themselves but parts of it, such as the Do Not Attempt Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation document will require a conversation with a GP or Consultant.

Other parts of the document such as Lasting Power of Attorney will require a conversation with a Lawyer.

As well as making an Advanced Care Plan, there are five simple steps that you can take now to make your last years of life better, both for you and for your loved ones.

Dr Nicola Smith, Local GP and Chair of NHS Milton Keynes CCG, said: “We want to encourage local people to feel more comfortable talking openly about death and dying. As a society we put a lot of time into planning for major life events such as getting married, having children, birthdays, anniversaries and retirement but shy away from preparing for the other major, and inevitable event – death.

“Death is a taboo subject for many of us, but 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.

“It’s important that we all express our wishes towards the end of our lives, including where we want to die and our funeral plans with friends, family and loved ones.

“Talking about and preparing for death is something that many people find incredibly difficult – yet when the time comes there can be an enormous sense of relief and comfort from knowing that a relative’s final wishes have been met.”

For more information, visit www.miltonkeynesccg.nhs.uk/end-of-life-care-for-patients-in-mk/