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Hospice Awareness Week: Three million Kiwis anxious talking about dying

Wednesday, May 17, 2023   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: Community, services, awareness

Hospice New Zealand is launching a campaign for Hospice Awareness Week (15th to 21st May 2023) to help raise awareness about the value of hospice care.

The It’s Ok campaign features hospice patients and whānau sharing their emotional journeys of dying and hospice care.

Hospice NZ Chief Executive Wayne Naylor, says over three million of us tend to feel anxious and uncomfortable when thinking about a loved one dying (69 percent).

These stories shine a spotlight on how hospice care helps to make that journey a little easier.

“Dying is not an easy subject to talk about. We don’t know what to say and we’re afraid we’ll say the wrong thing. This campaign features hospice patients and whānau sharing their emotional experiences in the hope that others will be ok about opening up and reach out to Hospice for help.”

“Everyone’s story is unique, but feelings are universal and whatever you feel, is ok. If we can open up; if we can talk about dying and be ok with all the feelings we have; we can make the most of life right until the end. Hospice helps people get through.”

One of the stories features Latoya - a patient at Tōtara Hospice in South Auckland who encourages talking about dying.

“The topic is so depressing and so sad and so taboo but yet it’s one of the most natural things that happens in life…you live and you die… why I’m so comfortable now is because it is something we can talk about,” says Latoya.

Another story features Haley whose friend died in the care of Otago Community Hospice, and who encourages opening up.

“Just normalise it, make it ok… it does make it easier… when you ignore it, it makes it incredibly difficult,” says Haley.

Mr Naylor said he hoped that this campaign motivated more New Zealanders to support hospice.

“We rely on the generosity of our communities to deliver our life changing services. We couldn’t do it without their support.”

“Understanding the care, the value, the comfort that Hospice provides – is why Hospice Awareness Week is so important. “

Find out more about the It's Ok campaign during Hospice Awareness Week.