Dying from old age? You’re supposed to. Concerned about the care you might receive? You should be.

Categories: Care, Education, and Featured.

Do you think that people are supposed to die in a frail state without the support they need?

Should people nearing end of life accept that their care and service provision will deteriorate alongside their health?

Have you or someone you love ever been made to feel like once you’ve lost your dignity, there is no point in living?


Dying with frailty doesn’t have to look like this. Ageism and the inequality of service provision can and should be questioned, and now is the time to act.

At St Christopher’s, we are committed to improving understanding and encouraging action in end of life care, and reminding people of the value of dying the way you choose – as everyone deserves to – despite the additional vulnerabilities that frailty and old age bring.

Contrary to popular belief, frailty is a measure of a person’s resilience and ability to recover from health concerns, not necessarily a primary diagnosis in itself. Misunderstandings around frailty can lead to people being unable to access the support they need, and sadly, ageism is sometimes present across multiple provisions of care. The common language surrounding frailty and end of life care is often underpinned with dismissiveness and negativity, whilst a ‘one size fits all’ approach to the development of services leaves no room for individual priorities.

This in turn leaves many families and unpaid carers confused and distressed by the services currently offered, which leave little room for the personal wishes and preferences of those who need support. We want to challenge this.

We believe that by taking responsibility for gaps in language, knowledge, and service provision, we can redress current inequalities and start again: by building a care system that is designed by and for people experiencing frailty, and by listening to and advocating for people whose voices become increasingly unheard as they grow older and get forgotten.

On Thursday 14 October 2021, we will be hosting a one-day conference on frailty in our brand-new Centre for Awareness and Response to End of Life (St Christopher’s CARE), where we will be joined by CEO of British Geriatrics Society, Sarah Mistry, acclaimed Geriatrician and author, Dr Lucy Pollock, author and former Guardian columnist, Madeline Bunting, and current AGE UK Director, Caroline Abrahams.

The conference will be delivered through a blend of provocations from industry experts, leading to round table discussions, exhibitions and interactive lived experience sessions. Attendees will be able to listen to and take part in conversations with experts in their field, and learn more about what frailty is and how it impacts people living and dying with it.

Participants will also have a unique chance to learn more about the significant challenges facing wider society, which impact our health and social care provision and reduce opportunities for people to live and die well.

We believe that problems which may seem huge and intangible right now can be solved, and that we can all interrogate the status quo and contribute to new ways of thinking relating to ageing and end of life care. We also hope to gather all our voices together and release our findings and recommendations in a report later down the line.

Frailty is everybody’s business, and we will all die one day. Will you act now, before it’s too late?


Buy your tickets now and pay a discounted rate of just £99 before 14 September. We are also offering student, carer, unemployed and/or OAP tickets at £75 per person.



About St Christopher’s Hospice www.stchristophers.org.uk

  • We were founded by Dame Cicely Saunders, who started the global hospice movement with the opening of St Christopher’s in 1967.
  • We are a charity. Just one third of our funding comes from the NHS and we have to fundraise more than £15 million every year to keep going.
  • Our vision is of a world in which all dying people and those close to them have access to care and support, whenever and wherever they need it.
  • Our goal is to help people live well until they die, and support those affected by the loss of a friend or relative. We know that each person is unique and we tailor our care to meet social, emotional and spiritual needs, as well as manage physical symptoms.
  • We strongly believe that everyone should have access to the best care at the end of their lives and through a blend of expert practice, education and research we work with people across the world to improve and develop hospice care.
  • We usually have over 1,300 people under our care at any one time, and last year we provided care and support to over 5,000 patients and 2,000 families and carers across South London, both at home, out in the community and in the hospice.
  • We have over 500 dedicated staff and over 1,000 amazing volunteers.
  • You can support the hospice by donating, volunteering or shopping at one of our 26 local high street shops.
  • You can find our website by searching “stchristophers.org.uk” online, and we are also on social media – search @StChrisHospice on Twitter and Instagram, and ‘St Christopher’s Hospice’ on Facebook.


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