Home Latest News Three quarters of Irish people want to die at home according to our survey on attitudes to end of life

Three quarters of Irish people want to die at home according to our survey on attitudes to end of life

Three quarters of Irish people want to die at home according to new Irish Hospice Foundation survey on attitudes to end of life. 

  •  42% of people say there is either “much” or “urgent” room for improvement in end of life care
  •  53% of people have experienced the death of a loved one in the last two years
  •  39% of people have not given any thought to making a will

Dying at Home a priority   

The vast majority of Irish people want to spend their dying days at home, but the reality is only a quarter will get to do so, a major new survey on Irish Attitudes to Death, Dying and Bereavement reveals.

The poll of 891 adults commissioned by The Irish Hospice Foundation, (IHF), shows that almost three quarters of people, (74%), wish to be cared for towards the end of their lives at home, compared to 67% per cent who expressed the same wish in a similar poll carried out ten years ago.

 However the evidence is that most people will die in a hospital setting. The survey shows that of those who lost someone close to them in the last two years 38% died in a hospital, 26% at home, 12% in nursing/residential home and 11% in a hospice.

The findings are based on a survey conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes in May 2014 and managed by Dr. John A Weafer. It is the second national survey on Irish attitudes to death and dying commissioned by the IHF. The last one was in 2004.

Dissatisfaction with level of end-of-life care 

The latest survey shows a high level of general dissatisfaction amongst people about the level of care for people who are dying or terminally ill. A total of 42% of people believe there is “much or urgent” room for improvement. 11% say care is poor and needs to be addressed “urgently”. Only 6% think care is excellent while 50% say care is “good” but could be improved.

For those who have recently experienced the death of someone close care ratings were much more positive – only 14% said that there was much or urgent need for improvement.

38% of those surveyed say they are unsure that their preferred location for their final stages of life will be available to them. 15% felt it wouldn’t be – but just under half, (46%), say they are confident their preferences will be available to them.

 The survey shows an increase in the appetite in Ireland for talking about death and dying with 57% of people saying there is not enough discussion, up from 51% in the 2004 survey. 23% of people say they are “completely comfortable” discussing death.

However there has been no change in the last decade in relation to what is important to people in the last days of life. 82% say their top preference is to be surrounded by loved ones, while 70% have a preference to be free from pain and have the condition managed by medication.

Survey Highlights  

Other survey highlights include; 

  •  Over half, (53%), of people have experienced the death of someone close during the previous two years.
  •  47% and 35% of respondents respectively thought suicide and accidental death are amongst the top three causes of death. In actual fact these causes account for only 5% of deaths in Ireland each year.
  •  While attitudes towards discussing death and dying are positive, more than three quarters, (76%) of people have not appointed an enduring power of attorney.
  •  73% of people have not written an advance care directive or given direction on their end of life care preferences
  • 39% of people have not given any thought to making a will
  • 34% of people have recorded their preferences on organ donation but 23% have taken no action on it
  • 53% of people have given serious consideration to whether they want to be cremated or buried. 

Read the full report HERE 

Download the full press release here  

Back to the Top