Education: Breaking the Biggest Taboo

Society is liberally littered with taboo subjects, and death is arguably the biggest of them all. At Rowcroft, we’re committed to changing that. We don’t just need to talk about death, we actively want to — because it can help us and our loved ones to live a better life.

Breaking the taboo means that people with life-limiting illnesses can understand the choices available to them. For example, the care they want to receive at the end of their life, and where they want to receive it. It can mean that legal affairs are sorted early, so they can spend their precious time in the ways they most enjoy. It can lead to more discussions around organ and tissue donations, which can save and transform lives. In addition, having more clarity often has a positive impact on the grieving and bereavement of those left behind.

Kerry Macnish, our Head of Education, explains: “We recognise that there is still a taboo around talking about death and dying. This lack of openness can affect the quality and range of support and care services available to patients and families. We want to ensure people have as much choice and control at the end of life as possible – and talking about death in advance helps us achieve that.” Rowcroft is working hard to break down the taboo. We do this through our education programme, where we train health and social care professionals to have advance care planning conversations and to help patients and families plan for death.

We also take the conversation into the community. Next May, we have a series of events planned over coffee and cake. These events are designed to surprise people, reframe the conversation, share practical information and expert advice on how to plan for death, and provide a listening ear if it’s needed.

We’ll be looking for venues and partners across South Devon to help us with our May 2020 events. If you can help with this, please contact Jo, Corine or Catherine on 01803 217630.

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