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Are you comfortable talking about death and dying?

A new report has highlighted how end of life care in Ireland could be improved.

THE IRISH HOSPICE Foundation is calling for a national conversation on death and dying.

Chief executive, Sharon Foley, said, “while talking about death is not easy, we need to create for ourselves the best chance of having a good death and to plan for it.”

Each year 29,000 people die in Ireland and as many as 290,000 people are left bereaved.

Almost half the population die in acute hospitals. Foley said:

Those moments at the end of life are extremely precious and will be re-lived again and again.

“Excellent communication and a positive, respectful attitude are required from all people associated with the care of the dying person and their loved ones.”

A new Irish Hospice Foundation national survey on attitudes to end of life will be published later this year.

The interim results reveal that only one third of the adult population believe discussion around death and dying is sufficient.

Foley said: “It is time we broke the silence about dying.

A national palliative care and end-of-life and bereavement strategy needs to be put in place to put the needs of the dying higher up our healthcare agenda.

A new report by the Ombudsman Peter Tyndall ‘A Good Death’ highlights how end of life care in Ireland could be improved.

It was launched today and a preview screening of an RTE/Irish Hospice Foundation documentary, ‘Way to Go – Death and the Irish’ was shown at the launch.

The documentary will be broadcast on RTE One at 9.35 p.m. on Tuesday July 1.

It features first hand experiences of people speaking openly and honestly about going through the last months of their lives.

Read: People with serious illnesses asked to share their experience of palliative care>

Read: Byrne: Help people in Irish hospitals die with dignity>

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