What matters to Irish People
It is important to the Irish Hospice Foundation that our work reflects the needs and wishes of patients, families and the wider public.
We cannot be effective advocates or promote the development of end-of-life care services without knowing what it is that people want. We look to engage with the public and create opportunities for the public voice to be heard on all matters relating to death, dying and bereavement.
Attitudes to death and dying
In 2004 we published ‘A Nationwide survey of public attitudes and experiences of death and dying‘ the first ever such study undertaken in Ireland . This survey found that the three things of most importance to Irish people in facing the end of life are:
- to be surrounded by those they love
- To be free from pain
- To be conscious and able to communicate
The survey also found that:
- 67% of people wished to be cared for at home, while only 10% wanted to die in hospital
- Over 80% believed that care of the terminally ill or dying in hospitals needed to be improved
- Four out of ten felt they would be uncomfortable discussing death and dying – yet a surprising 51% felt that there is not enough discussion of death.
The findings of this survey has served to inform all our programmes and initiatives, in particular our Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme, Primary Palliative Care Programme, Forum on End of Life, as well as all our advocacy work
Forum on End of Life in Ireland
It also influenced our decision in 2008 to initiate a Forum on End of Life in Ireland, a year-long listening exercise aimed at gathering the views of the Irish people on a broad range of issues linked to death, dying and bereavement. Click here to find out more about the Forum and what matters to Irish people at end of life, along with the background to our Think Ahead project.