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Millions of people in Britain risk missing out on having their end of life wishes met and leaving their affairs in a mess for their families to sort out because they haven’t planned for their death, according to a new study released by the Dying Matters Coalition.
Today’s ComRes research, released to coincide with Dying Matters Awareness Week (18-24 May) finds that although the majority of us think it is more acceptable to talk about dying now than it was 10 years ago, discussing dying and making end of life plans remains a taboo, as a majority think that people in Britain are uncomfortable discussing dying, death and bereavement.
- Although a third of British adults (32%) think about dying and death at least once a week, 72% of the public believe that people in Britain are uncomfortable discussing dying, death and bereavement.
- Only 35% of the public say they have written a will, 32% that they have registered as an organ donor or have a donor card, 31% that they have taken out life insurance, 27% that they have talked to someone about their funeral wishes and 7% that they have written down their wishes or preferences about their future care, should they be unable to make decisions for themselves.
- Just 18% of British adults say they have asked a family member about their end of life wishes.
- Amongst parents who had children under 18 living with them, less than a third (28%) say they had written a Will, risking wishes about who would look after the children and inheritance not being met. Just 40% of parents who had children under 18 living with them said they had ever taken out life insurance.
Despite this failure to talk about dying and plan ahead, 71% of the public agree that if people in Britain felt more comfortable discussing dying, death and bereavement it would be easier to have our end of life wishes met.
The research also finds that the majority of people (79%) agree that quality of life is more important than how long they live for. Only 2% of over 65s disagree that their quality of life is more important to them than how long they live for. Just 13% of people surveyed said they would like to live forever and only 8% said they would like to live to over 100. The most common age at which people would like to die is 81-90 (27%). Despite the fact that life expectancy is on the rise, only 6% of people aged over 65s want to live to over 100.
When asked about factors to ensure a good death, being pain free was the most important option, chosen by a third of people (33%), followed by being with family and friends (17%), retaining your dignity (13%), being cared for and able to die in the place of your choice (6%), being involved in decisions about your care, or if you are not able to for family and friends to be involved (6%) and having your religious/spiritual needs met (5%).
The survey also finds that three-quarters of people (75%) agree that providing end of life care should be a fundamental part of the work of the NHS, with almost two-thirds (62%) agreeing that end of life care should be a priority for the new Government.
Speaking today, Claire Henry, Chief Executive of the Dying Matters Coalition said:
“We need to change the nation’s approach to dying, so that all of us become better at making our end of life wishes known and asking our loved ones about theirs. Talking about dying and planning ahead may not be easy, but it can help us to make the most of life and spare our loved ones from making difficult decisions on our behalf or dealing with the fallout if we haven’t got our affairs in order.”
Professor Mayur Lakhani, a practising GP and Chair of the Dying Matters Coalition added:
“There are encouraging signs that talking about dying is becoming less of a taboo than previously, but too many people are continuing to avoid facing up to their own mortality and are not putting plans in place. The public and health professionals alike need to become more comfortable talking about dying and discussion options for end of life care. We know that many people have strong views about their end of life wishes, but unless they talk about them and plan ahead they are unlikely to be met.”
Timeout recently added The Digital Legacy Conference 2015 as a ‘Thing to Do’ in London this summer…..
- If you still need a ticket head over to: http://digitallegacyconference.com/free-tickets
- Timeout Listing: http://www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/digital-legacy-conference-2015
Below is the (rough) running order for the Digital Legacy Conference 2015. It is subject to change and alterations…
- 2pm, doors open – Tea and coffee is served. Music
- 3.10pm ⇝ Introduction by Master of Ceremonies, Jack Rooke
- 3.20pm ⇝ Introduction by the curator of the RSVP Funeral Invitation Exhibition, Jo Shears
- 3.25pm ⇝ Introduction by James Norris, Founder of DeadSocial and the Digital Legacy Conference.
- 3.30pm ⇝ Evan Caroll, Afterlife: A Retrospective
- 3.50pm ⇝ Sheldon K. Goodman, Cemeteries & Social Media
- 4.10pm ⇝ Dr Mark Taubert, Social media use at the coalface of palliative patient care
4.10pm – Short break, drinks are served
- 4.30pm ⇝ Jack Rooke welcome back / poem
- 4.40pm ⇝ James Norris Digital Death, we need to switch on before we switch off
- 5.10pm ⇝ Andréia Martins, Virtual Wakes in Brazil
- 5.30pm ⇝ Ian Bond, Digital Estate Planning & UK Law
5.50pm – Networking break, drinks are served
- 6.10pm ⇝ Jack Rooke – GOOD GRIEF! How the web helped me make a show about my dad’s death.
- 6.30pm ⇝ Jayne Galinsky, Continuing bonds (virtual seminar – via video)
- 6.50pm ⇝ Dr Korina Giaxoglou, Everywhere I go, you’re going with me: sharing significant moments of life and death in Web 2.0 mourning
- 7.10pm ⇝ Olly Clabburn, MND Diagnoses & Creating a Legacy
- 7.30pm ⇝ Selina Ellis Gray, Remains in the System
7.40pm ⇝ Jack Rooke, Thank you, music & close
- 7.50pm – Networking & last orders at the bar
8.20pm – 8.30pm close
Head over to a the local pub…(maybe http://bartcr.com?) Suggestions welcome!
Funeral invitations came into use in the 17th century and originally functioned as admission tickets because space in the church and at the funeral feast was limited. The invitations were incredibly ornate and depicted classic symbols such as hour glasses and skulls.
RSVP is a fresh look at this tradition. It is a collection of work made in a number of different mediums and styles by 25 international artists.
‘Home’ by Benjamin Phillips
We are delighted and very excited that RSVP will be taking place the first annual Digital Legacy Conference.
Artists exhibiting their work
- Paul Koudounaris
- Pia Interlandi
- Mr Mead
- Dan McCarthy
- Katie Brookes
- Katie Jade Hawker
- Alexa Cach
- Ross Head
- Tabi Electric
- Miriam Byroade
- Rosie Lea
- Claire Spake
- Naomi Wilkinson
- Matt Warren
- Benjamin Phillips
- Tomasin Cuthbert
- Jason Tolmie
- Adam Stenhouse
- Anna Litchensteiger
- Miu Hatano
- David Buchler
- Jen Garmston
- Tasmin Halward
- Grace Helena
- Charlotte Hawke
Tickets for the Digital Legacy Conference (and the RSVP – An Exhibition of Funeral Invitations) are free but limited. They can be attained at http://digitallegacyconference.com/free-tickets
Call for artists & photographers
The conference is free to attend and consist of Healthcare professionals, the general public, scholars and those interested in the subject matters addressed.
Call for Artists
Artists and photographers who would like to exhibit their work at the Digital Legacy Conference should email us with one or more images of their work. It will be the responsibility of the artist/photographer to bring their work to the conference between 10am-11pm on the 23rd May and then take the pieces away at the end of the conference.
Photo from DeadSocial’s ‘Capturing the Sprit of Death’ campaign at the Ideal Death Show
If you would like to exhibit your work let us know:
The Digital Legacy Conference / DeadSocial will not take ‘a cut’ of money for any artwork that is sold during the conference 🙂
This is a ‘MUST WATCH’ video. It’s both beautiful and moving.
Digital grief and bereavement in today’s world will be explored further at the Digital Legacy Conference 2015. To reserve a free ticket visit: http://digitallegacyconference.com/free-tickets/
Digital Legacy and many of the areas we will be addressing would have been seen as Science-Fiction 10 years ago. There always has been a symbiotic between technology and fiction and this is certainly the case when it comes to death and technology.
Comic-Con London will be taking place between the 22nd-24th May in Excel London. We would like to open our invitation to any attendees of Comic-Con who find digital legacy (and such matters) interesting to come along. There is no dress code and we welcome diversity across different genders, education, races, walks of life and comic-book alliances.