This year’s Byw Nawr events were an opportunity for us to consider the opportunities that we have today to plan ahead and prepare for our futures. The week posed the question ‘Are we ready?’

Some of us do not want to think about what will happen when we die, but taking some simple steps now can alleviate some of the pressure and distress for those that we leave behind. We have produced a document titled ‘Plan Ahead’ to provide some practical advice to consider, such as when organising and closing accounts, and password complications.

Our ACP (Advance Care Planning) bingo session proved a hit between colleagues, using the opportunity to reflect on and discuss our own priorities, with goodies for the winner.

Down in Day Centre, patients, carers, relatives and volunteers also used the bingo session to open up conversations relating to living, dying and death, which prompted some to attend our event the following day.

This event was titled ‘Dying to know?’, and became a well-attended opportunity to discuss Dying Matters issues with members of the Hospice team, and some invited panel members, including a solicitor, funeral directors and Chaplain. Attendees included Hospice patients, carers, bereaved relatives, Hospice volunteers, social workers, Hospice staff and members of the Blaenau Gwent public.

Talking about dying does not make it happen any quicker, but there is a strength of feeling in knowing things too, so we need to have conversations that are timely and sensitive. So plan ahead, and take some time to consider your preferences, better for you and easier for those around you.