Hospice encouraging people to plan for last days as part of campaign

ST MICHAEL’S Hospice is encouraging people to plan for their last days during a national awareness week dedicated to tackling the taboo subject of death.

Dying Matters Awareness Week started on Monday (May 13) and runs until Sunday (May 19) and is designed to get people to think about what the future may bring and trying to counteract the fact that most people put off planning for their last days until it is often too late.

James Cornford, marketing and communications officer for the hospice, said: “At St Michael’s Hospice we believe that for every individual it is the small, personal things that matter most and that help to define our character and make us who we are and that these things matter as much at the end of life as they did at the beginning.

“We aim help make each and every person enjoy and appreciate the normal things in life that are important to them, for as long as possible.

“At the hospice we can’t offer a cure and we can’t make it all OK, but we can promise to treat each and every person as an individual, make them feel more like the person they have always been and help their families and friends along the way.

“We focus on treating, supporting and caring for people in surroundings that they prefer and are suitable for them, whether that is in the hospice, at home. Our specialist nursing teams are able to offer 24-hour services at home, or a night sitting service to help families have some respite.

“Our Day Therapy Centre offers a warm and friendly environment for the enjoyment of companionship, therapies and entertainment, while others opt to stay with us here in St Leonards, with full access to the hospice’s care and medical services.

“Dying is indeed a sensitive and emotive subject, but we hope that by encouraging people to plan for their future, we can ensure that they continue to experience a sense of their normal lives and in so doing, retain their all important dignity, sense of self and sense of belief.”

To find out more about the hospice’s services in your community visit www.stmichaelshospice.com, speak to your GP or call the hospice, which is based in Upper Maze Hill, St Leonards, on 01424 445177.

For more information on Dying Matters Awareness Week log onto www.dyingmatters.org.