Commenting on new research from Which? that found 7 in 10 people have made no plans for their end-of-life care, George McNamara, Director of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age, said:
"End-of-life care remains a taboo subject. It is concerning to see that many of us value sorting our finances out much more than the kind of care and support we would want during our final weeks and days. Health and social care professionals have a role to play, but as a society we need to change the way we think and act about end-of-life care. Sensitively having such conversations can make all the difference. Better planning for the end of your life could make a huge difference, both to the person who’s dying and to their family, enabling them to better deal with their grief and experience fewer symptoms of post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety.
“Unfortunately, we know that people aged 65 and over, despite being the age group most likely to die, are less likely to receive end-of-life care. Lack of end-of-life care means they are more likely to be in pain at the time of their death than younger people, and people with dementia are particularly unlikely to receive good end-of-life care.
“It’s essential that older people and their families make plans for the end of life, and talk to each other about what those plans are, so there are no surprises. Independent Age offers a free advice guide on planning for the end of life, to help people think through what needs to be done.”