good life, good death, good grief

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Circle of Life Exhibition

Plans are being made to hold an exhibition in Glasgow, to showcase the work of artisans and small companies who work sensitively with birth, life and death issues. A not-for-profit endeavour, The Circle of Life will take place in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, on 30th September 2017.

The ethos of this event is to offer people something creative, different, and coming from the heart, when they celebrate or mourn a particular life event. A key element of this is that these events are not seen in isolation but as a part of the whole circle and journey of life.

The organisers are inviting participation from creatives who offer great products, great services, support and understanding, working in the domains of:

  • Birth/Christening
  • Wedding/Handfasting
  • Dying and Death/Funerals

It is planned to provide space for 50 informative stalls, networking, and to include interactive demonstrations and talks in and around the venue – including a mock handfasting and a death café.

Would you be interested in getting involved? If so, get in touch with Gilly Lockhart for more details.

Tayside Power of Attorney Campaign Impact Report

In April 2014, NHS Tayside received £25,000 from the Joint Improvement Team (JIT) to make improvements to Anticipatory Care Planning (ACP). The funding was directed to start the Tayside Power of Attorney Campaign. This decision was made following an invitation from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Glasgow City Council to join their successful Power of Attorney Campaign. Coincidentally Lanarkshire were also in receipt of JIT funding and also accepted the invitation to join the POA campaign.

Representative from NHS Tayside, the three Local Authorities, Solicitors for Older People Scotland and Alzheimers Scotland, formed a Task and Finish Group (TFG) to take the work forward. Activities included television and radio advertisements, newspaper articles and a range of engagement events.

Initial results are very promising. Statistics from the Office of the Public Guardian Scotland, where POAs are registered, show that the number of POAs registered in Tayside for the first quarter of 2015 was 529. This is a significant improvement upon the average number of POAs registered per quarter in 2014 which was 307. It is also notable that Glasgow, who have had a longer sustained campaign, noted a marked increase (34%) in the total registrations for 2014.

The full report of the Tayside group's work is available here: Tayside Power of Attorney Campaign Impact Report.

Helen Dryden, Clinical Lead for Palliative Care, Angus

Sally Wilson, Locality Integration Improvement Manager, Angus

Before I Die walls and Death Cafes at the University of Dundee

Building on the success of last year, The University of Dundee’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, 3rd year Nursing Students participated in events which coincided with Death Awareness week and their theoretical palliative care lectures.

The “before I die, I want to…….” walls ‘popped up’ again this year and gave students the opportunity to reflect on what is important to them, individually.

Death Cafes were used for the first time this year, as an educational forum, instead of the more traditional tutorial format. The Death Café approach sought to encourage students to consider death, dying and bereavement from a professional perspective. During previous classes, which ran last year, the students were introduced briefly to the concept of Death

Cafes and asked to suggest topics for conversation, which could be included in a Conversation Menu. These were collated, adapted and a Conversation Menu was produced. This provided a framework to support and encourage conversation, in a relaxed atmosphere. The students rose to the occasion, bringing snacks, drinks and nibbles to share! The Death Cafes created a real buzz and the students engaged in a variety of conversations. For example; they encouraged consideration and lots of conversation around whether euphemisms were used within health care, whether there is a taboo about death, dying and bereavement in health care, advance care planning, media portrayal of death and what can nurses do to help communities become more open about death, dying and bereavement.

We are always looking for new ways to present and encourage discussion around death, dying and bereavement, in order to enhance the students learning experience. The materials and resources available from the Good Life, Good Death, and Good Grief and Dying Matters websites, allow us to try new innovations, keeping us up to date with current trends!

Lynn Griffin, Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Dundee

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