The campaign It’s Ok features hospice patients and whānau sharing their emotional journeys of dying and hospice care. Hospice NZ Chief Executive, Wayne Naylor, says over three million of us tend to feel anxious and uncomfortable when thinking about a loved one dying (69%).
These stories shine a spotlight on how hospice care helps to make that journey a little easier.
Three million Kiwis find talking about dying hard
“Its OK to feel how you feel”
Sharing patient and whānau stories in Hospice Awareness Week
“Dying is not an easy subject to talk about. We don’t know what to say and we’re afraid we’ll say the wrong thing. This campaign features hospice patients and whānau sharing their emotional experiences in the hope that others will be ok about opening up and reach out to Hospice for help.”
“Everyone’s story is unique, but feelings are universal and whatever you feel, is ok. If we can open up; if we can talk about dying and be ok with all the feelings we have; we can make the most of life right until the end. Hospice helps people get through.”
One of the stories features Latoya, a patient at Tōtara Hospice in South Auckland who encourages talking about dying.
“The topic is so depressing and so sad and so taboo but yet it’s one of the most natural things that happens in life…you live and you die… why I’m so comfortable now is because it is something we can talk about,” says Latoya.
Another story features Haley, whose friend died in the care of Otago Community Hospice, and who encourages opening up.
“Just normalise it, make it ok…it does make it easier…when you ignore it, it makes it incredibly difficult,” says Haley.
Mr Naylor said he hoped that this campaign motivated more New Zealanders to support hospice.
“We rely on the generosity of our communities to deliver our life changing services. We couldn’t do it without their support.”
“Understanding the care, the value, the comfort that Hospice provides – is why Hospice Awareness Week is so important. “
Latoya shares how talking about dying has helped her and her family.
“The topic is so depressing and so sad and so taboo but yet it’s one of the most natural things that happens in life…you live and you die… why I’m so comfortable now is because it is something we can talk about,”
Eileen shares her experience of hospice care.
“Hospice helped me with everything. That’s why I can walk around smiling, because I’ve got nothing to worry about now”
Vikki shares her experience of losing her son and the care Hospice provided them.
“I felt love bigger, I felt grief bigger, I felt pain bigger. Everything was exaggerated, so when you feel the love and support it has an even bigger meaning than it would if you weren’t going through something like that”
Haley shares her story of losing a close friend and supporting another friend who is dying.
“Just normalise it. Make it OK. It does make it easier. It is so important to talk about it because when you ignore it, it makes it incredibly difficult”.
Share our stories and the value of hospice care
Everybody needs understanding and care. It’s these things that allow us to thrive when we are well, and get through when we are struggling. And we need these most when we are dying. At the end of our lives, when time is precious, hospice exists to ensure we do. Understanding the care, the value, the comfort that Hospice provides – is why Hospice Awareness Week is so important.
For more information about https://www.hospice.org.nz please visit their website. This story is republished here with permission
In 2021/2022 Hospice across Aotearoa;
- Provided care to 17,589 people, plus their whānau.
- Cared for 10,592 people who died.
- Provided 166,541 face to face visits.
- Made 290,741 phone calls to patients and whānau members.
- Provided nearly 28,000 nights of specialist care in hospice inpatient units.
- Provided 24,042 bereavement contacts.
- Had to raise over $94m through their second-hand retail shops, fundraising, donations, and other sources, including from reserves, to keep afloat.
Community Views : Public Perceptions Research on Hospice, Death and Dying (completed Jan 2023)
- Over two thirds of us (around 3 million) tend to feel anxious and uncomfortable when thinking about a loved one dying (69%).
- In 2022 a higher proportion of New Zealanders had experienced the death of a close friend or relative (82%) compared to 2015 (77%). This number increases to over 90% for Māori.
- And just in the past two years, two million of us have experienced the death of a close friend or relative.
- We know death is around us but that doesn’t make us feel more comfortable about it.
- 61% of us feel it is hard to talk about death with someone you care about who is dying.
- More young New Zealanders have experienced the loss of a loved one.
- Nearly a million New Zealanders cared for a loved one who was dying in the past two years.
- 40% of carers spent 21+ hours per week in their caring role.
- The key rewards of being a carer were: spending time with that person (76%), giving back to someone they care about (75%), and doing something meaningful (61%).
- Only 13% of us have made an Advanced Care Plan.
For more information contact:
Wayne Naylor, 021 201 1249 Gretchen Leuthart, m: 021 746 873
Chief Executive, Hospice NZ Communications Manager, Hospice NZ