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Time to Reflect

An illustration of two people, a man and a woman mourning at a grave. This is the main illustration of Irish Hospice Foundation's Time to Reflect report.

Time to Reflect

Time to Reflect is the findings from a survey commissioned by Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) to explore the impact of COVID-19 and public health measures on the experiences and perceptions of the Irish population in relation to dying, death, and bereavement during this time. Read the Time to Reflect report.

The survey was completed by over 2,200 people across all demographics, on their experiences and views on death and bereavement during the COVID-19 pandemic between November 2021 and February 2022. Time to Reflect is their story.  

The results of this study provide valuable insights into the end-of-life care and bereavement experiences of the Irish public during the pandemic. It also includes the experiences of healthcare workers in supporting patients and their families at end of life.

Time to Reflect Survey Results

The results of the Time to Reflect Survey found that the COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on people’s experience of death, dying and grieving. The results found:

  • Over half (54%) had experienced the death of someone close to them.

  • Only half (54%) reported that their loved one received the level of care they needed at end of life.

  • More than 6 in 10 (64%) of those bereaved said their ability to grieve was negatively affected.

  • 7 in 10 (70%) people reported that family and friends were excluded from funerals because of public health measures.

  • 4 in 10 (40%) people did not receive the support they needed following the death of a loved one.

The report also found:

  • 6 in 10 (67%) people said they have greater awareness of grief since the pandemic

  • Almost half (47%) have given more thought to their own end-of-life wishes.

  • Over half (54%) stated that people in their community found other ways, in the absence of traditional ones, to honour the person who had died.

Recommendations from Time to Reflect

Recommendations from the report include:

  • Placing a high importance on person-centred compassionate end-of-life care with family involvement in the event of future public health crises or emergencies.
  • Continuous training in delivering quality end-of-life and bereavement care for healthcare staff.
  • Greater investment and resourcing in bereavement support services, including for healthcare workers impacted by grief.

Briefing Paper

Download the briefing paper for a quick glance at the Time to Reflect report findings and recommendations. 

Time to Reflect Report

Download the full Time to Reflect report to read more the Irish population’s experiences of dying, death and bereavement during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the overall findings and recommendations.

Time to Reflect Survey Findings and Literature Review

This report provides a full breakdown of the Time to Reflect survey findings and the literature review that was prepared for Irish Hospice Foundation by ECNE Research.