Unnecessary harm is caused because people in Scotland are not open about death, dying and bereavement. For example:
- People who are dying or bereaved can experience isolation because people don't know what to say or how to act towards them
- People die without wills, leaving complicated situations for their families and friends
- Health care professionals struggle to have conversations with their patients about what care or treatments they want as they approach death. This makes it hard to plan the care that a person really wants
- If the fact that someone is dying is not acknowledged then opportunities to resolve issues and say goodbye may be missed
What can be done to help?
We believe that there are actions which people can take to help avoid these harms.
For example, they could:
- Make a will
- Do a power of attorney
- Ask their partner if he/she wants to do a power of attorney
- Bring up their children in a way which doesn't hide death
- Allow their aging parents/partner to tell them about their worries and preferences for care
- Say goodbye to the people they love or who care about them
- Be willing to listen to and talk to their neighbours or colleagues if they are experiencing difficult times related to death, dying or bereavement
- Discuss with their GP the sort of care they would prefer towards the end of their life
People may need access to advice, practical tips and information to take some of these actions. These actions will be easier to take in a Scotland which becomes more open about death, dying and bereavement.
Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief is about giving people in Scotland the facts, the skills, the strategies, the information and the opportunities they need to deal with (and to help others deal with) death, dying and bereavement.