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Launching Time to Reflect Report

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.

Irish Hospice Foundation’s Time to Reflect Survey has 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 front cover of the Time to Reflect report by Irish Hospice Foundation.

The Time to Reflect Survey, launched today at Irish Hospice Foundation’s 8th biannual Forum on End of Life on Dying and Grieving Well in Our Communities, was carried out to gather insights into the experiences of individuals regarding end-of-life care, death and bereavement during the pandemic. 

The results 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 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.
An illustration of a patient laying in a bed in a hospital surrounded by doctors and nurses in personal protective equipment (PPE). This illustration is from Irish Hospice Foundation's Time to Reflect report.

Paula O’Reilly, CEO of Irish Hospice Foundation, said:

We are delighted to launch this unique research, which captures the stories of the Irish population’s experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to dying, death and bereavement during the pandemic. Going forward, the recommendations must be used to inform future public health responses. Our vision at the Irish Hospice Foundation is an Ireland where people experiencing dying, death and bereavement are provided with the care and support they need. We will be using key findings to inform our future policy and advocacy work in public health and to provide additional guidance for our programmes.”  

Read the full Time to Reflect Report.

See full details of Irish Hospice Foundation’s Forum on End of Life.