UK-based think-tank DEMOS released a report that looks at the seeming contradiction between the institutionalized ways societies copy with death and the way most people aspire to die.  According to DEMOS, “[m]ost people want to die with family and friends nearby, cared for, free from pain, with medical support available when needed. Yet most people will die in hospitals and care homes, often cut off from friends and family, dependent on systems and procedures that feel impersonal, over which they have little control and which too often offer them little dignity. We spend large sums of taxpayer’s money – at least £20 billion a year – on services that leave too many people feeling confused, frustrated and distressed too much of the time.”

The report goes on to argue that United Kingdom can improve “existing services: making end of life advance care plans the norm; training more in the medical profession in palliative care; and more greatly integrating the care services provided by the public, private and voluntary sectors.”  It further calls for “radical innovations: a new infrastructure of home hospices, the creation of a compassionate care benefit and a properly trained volunteer support network providing palliative care.”

Share your thoughts on DEMOS’ proposals with IAHSA.  Can their ideas be implemented in the United Kingdom? In other countries?  How can these challenges be managed in your community?

For more information, visit DEMOS.

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