Everyone will be affected by dying, death and bereavement and deserves the best possible experience, reflecting what’s most important to them. Marie Curie will lead in end of life experience to make this happen.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many people have unexpectedly been affected by the loss of someone close to them. Dying has suddenly become a front-of-mind issue for us all. Even before the pandemic, we had an ageing population. By 2040, it’s predicted that the number of people in the UK aged 85+ will double from 1.6 million to 3.2 million. People are living longer with multiple conditions. This means a ‘tsunami’ of demand for end of life care and support is expected over the next decade. Already, one in four people don’t get the care or support they need at the end of their lives. The coronavirus crisis has given us a glimpse of the future and has exposed the weaknesses in the delivery of end of life care in the UK. The health and social care system we know today simply won’t be able to cope with the future demand for palliative and end of life care. This could mean increased isolation and suffering for people at the end of life, as well as for those who are bereaved. We wish we could put normal life back on for dying people, and those left behind. But we can’t. Life may be beginning to start up again. But for people with a terminal diagnosis, and families devastated by loss, there’s no going back. Freedoms are still restricted, fears still rife. Grief doesn’t go away overnight. The hardships of life with a terminal illness like cancer, dementia, MND or Parkinson’s won’t go away with the lifting of lockdown. Marie Curie Nurses, hospices and bereavement services have been here through it all, day and night, seven days a week, caring for people with and without the virus. Our Support Line has been here, listening. We never stopped. And we adapted at speed, launching a bereavement support service for those in desperate need of a listening ear. Right now, more people need us than ever before. At Marie Curie, we see a different society where everyone has the very best care at the end of their lives, and support for their loved ones as well. Your support has meant we can adapt quickly. Our Information and Support line is now open seven days a week with Marie Curie Nurses available over the phone. Grief can feel isolating enough without social distancing. We launched a bereavement support service for those in desperate need of a listening ear. So many of you have stood by us, and we can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done. But with events still cancelled and gatherings on ice, much of our fundraising is still on hold. We urgently need your continued support. Marie Curie needs to raise £13,888 every hour, 24 hours a day, to continue to provide vital care, support and compassion for people at the end of their lives and their loved ones. You can help us support families across Winchester facing terminal illness and bereavement right now, by buying our fantastic Christmas cards, gifts and decorations.