Thinking out loud: what you can do before you die
Since the year 2008, the month of May has been dedicated to raising awareness on death and dying through the efforts of the Dying Matters Alliance; the idea behind Dying Matters is to encourage people in society as a whole to discuss death and dying. While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused pain and distress for dying patients and their close families, there has also been a positive outcome, in that the pandemic has also clearly shown that dying can no longer be hidden, silenced and treated as a taboo subject. It is also true that, while episodes of people dying in hospitals has arguably shaped the image of the pandemic, many more died at home (in some cases alone, due to lockdown restrictions) away from the glare of public cameras, and with some visits from community nurses. According to Hospice UK (2022), ‘more than 100 000 additional people have died in their own home across the UK since the start of the pandemic’ which translates to about ‘1000 excess deaths at home each week since March 2020’ (Hospice UK, 2022).
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