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Dead good help for carers

By Lorna Thompson

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AN ORGANISATION which promotes good end-of-life preparation is rolling out a series of workshops in Moray following a successful trial in Forres.

Aimed at carers and those in the health profession, Before I Go Solutions – which encourages people to make informed choices and practical decisions such a preparing a will and appointing a power of attorney – held an initial Dead Good Cake ‘n’ Chat workshop as part of this week's National Good Death Week (May 13-19).

Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, the social enterprise will now hit the road to spread its message to the region's carers in the format of Dead Good Cake ‘n’ Chat events.

The first workshop held at Forres.
The first workshop held at Forres.

Jane Duncan Rogers, who launched Before I Go Solutions in 2016 following her husband’s death, said she was delighted to be able to reach out to a wider group.

"I am very much looking forward to being able to get the Before I Go Solutions message on the road and work more with carers. We are grateful to have received the funding, which is to support carers as this group of the population is often vulnerable, under-resourced and at times lonely.

"Caring for a loved one is exhausting and frightening and having to also consider what end-of-life plans might be needed can be overwhelming. We hope that through the Dead Good Cake ‘n’ Chat events we can impart some of our knowledge and make the process that little bit easier.

"We urge groups and people in the community who have a caring role to get in touch so we can take the workshops to where there is demand. The workshops will help deepen relationships within the community, allow participants to share more extensively as they get to know each other and to support each other to implement any resolutions they may have taken because of the event."

Leading the workshops on behalf of Before I Go Solutions is Dr Cornelia Featherstone, who has been working in the end-of-life field for many years.

She said the Forres event generated great feedback. Dr Featherstone said: "We had representatives from a range of organisations including Marie Curie, TSI Moray, Pushing Up the Daisies and the Forres Neighbourhood Care Team, to name but a few. Everyone was really receptive to the workshop and the questions we asked, and as there was a range of people caring for people in different ways and from different organisations it gave us a valuable insight into what we need to consider when rolling out these events.

"Lack of constructive planning for the last stages in life is a source of tremendous stress, particularly for carers who are often left to second guess what the person they care for would want. End-of-life planning is thus potentially a very empowering and certainly stress-reducing exercise which helps individuals to take responsibility for their affairs."

Staff nurse Lesley-Anne Exon, from the town’s NHS Neighbourhood Care Team, attended the trial event in Forres.

She said: "The event was well run and very informative. Our team are often caring for people at the end of life and having that extra knowledge from the workshops that we can share with a family member in what is often a stressful and emotional time is invaluable. It also means that we as a team are aware of the Before I Go Solutions organisation and if required can point people in its direction for help and advice."

If you would like a Before I Go Solutions Dead Good Cake ‘n’ Chat workshop to be held in you area, email Jane at jane@beforeigosolutions.com. For further information, please email claire@clairedoughtypublicity.uk or call 07846 145050.

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