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Why is it time to talk?

Here’s an outline of why it is so important to talk openly and honestly about death and dying with the person you care for as well as other family members, including children and those with learning disabilities.

The importance of early conversations with health and social care staff and issues of consent to share information are explored below.

Talking to each other within families about death is difficult. This can be for a number of reasons:

  • We don’t want to think about death, as it brings up uncomfortable emotions that we would prefer to avoid.
  • We are worried about starting a conversation in case it offends or upsets the person we care for.
  • We feel awkward about mentioning important personal issues such as using the toilet and keeping clean.
  • We don’t want to discuss financial issues in case we are seen as money-grabbing.

However, talking about dying and death as early on as possible is important as it gives the opportunity for everyone within the family to openly and honestly share what their worries and fears are connected with dying. It enables everyone to make informed choices together, to know what the person you care for needs and wants, and it can help with family relationships. Talking about death is an essential part of Advanced Care Planning as well as thinking about any care that could be needed and what type of treatment the person you care for would prefer not to have. Here are 6 tips about talking about death.