Let’s talk about it
An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her Vicar that she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered at Tesco.
“Tesco?” the startled Vicar exclaimed. “In the lord’s name, why Tesco?”
“Then I’ll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week”, she replied.
A consumer poll 1,236 people aged over 30, conducted by Golden Charter, questioned people about their attitudes to discussing funeral wishes, and what was important to consider when planning a funeral.
- 90% of those interviewed didn’t want their family to have to bear the costs
- 86% said it was important to discuss their final wishes with family members or friends
Despite these good intentions, and despite the fact that 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.
Millions of people in Britain risk missing out on having their end of life wishes met and are leaving their affairs in a mess for their families to sort out because they haven’t planned for their death, according to a study released by the Dying Matters Coalition.
They found that 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.
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 those aged 65 and over 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. Despite the fact that life expectancy is on the rise, only 6% of people aged 65 and over want to live to over 100.
Professor Mayur Lakhani, a practising GP and Chair of the Dying Matters Coalition, says that, “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”.
We at Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton also believe that planning for the time when we die is important. We can help make matters easier by providing not only a sensitive ear, but also useful products such as free wills, ½ price power of attorneys, estate planning and funeral plans.
Call us on 01704 542 993 to sort out your affairs and then get on with living.