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We need to raise over £8 million every year to provide outstanding Hospice care to the local community. To get involved with our fundraising activities, design your own, or make a donation, use the information on this page.

Dying Matters Awareness Week

two people hugging by a window

Each year, people across the UK use Hospice UK’s Dying Matters Awareness Week as an opportunity to encourage all communities to engage in conversations about death and dying, in ways that work for them. While the topic can often be seen as a hard one to approach, the aim here is to make it a more comfortable experience, and one that doesn’t need to be shied away from. This year, it takes place from 6 – 12 May. 

nurse and patient talking on the sofa

This year's theme

This year’s theme for is ‘The way we talk about Dying Matters’, focusing on the language used and conversations had about death and dying. Its taking a closer look at discussions had between healthcare professionals and patients, as well as their caregivers and families, and the importance of these and how they’re conducted. 

We want to help people feel more confident talking with their healthcare providers about death and dying. Open and timely conversations are vital for good end-of-life care. But barriers like lack of confidence and taboos around discussing death can leave patients, caregivers, and families feeling confused and unsupported. 

Why language is important 

Language is important when communicating, and each and every one of us will have different thoughts on language, how it’s used and our own preferences. This is why Hospice UK conducted a survey of 1,000+ recently bereaved people – and the results show that what is said and how is an important consideration. The study found that:

  • 36% said that they were left with some uncertainty about the likelihood of their loved one dying after speaking with healthcare professionals  
  • 62% of people felt that healthcare professionals communicated very well or quite well, during the final period of their loved one’s life  
  • 45% of people prefer direct language (e.g. ‘dying’, ‘die’) when talking about death and dying, whilst 33% prefer euphemistic language (e.g. ‘passed away’, ‘not going to make it’, ‘we can’t do any more’).  
  • Older people (+55) tended to prefer using more direct language to talk about terminal diagnoses and dying, while younger people (16-24) had a preference for euphemistic language 
male nurse and loved one of patient talking

Get involved!

Hospice in the Weald supports Dying Matters Awareness Week each year. We will be making an effort to raise awareness of this year’s theme throughout the week, across our digital channel, so please do keep an eye out. The statistics and insight shared this year shows just how important communication is around death and dying. 

You can get involved by visiting Hospice UK’s website, which includes plenty of resources and ways in which you can find out more and take part. On social media, use the hashtags #DMAW24 and #TalkingAboutDyingMatters to keep track of all related posts! 

Family members talking

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