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Before I Die Wall

Before I Die is an interactive public art project that invites people to share their personal aspirations in public space. The original wall was created by artist Candy Chang in February 2011 on an abandoned house in her neighbourhood in New Orleans. Since then, over 500 Before I Die walls have been created in over 65 countries and over 30 languages by passionate people around the world. Now it is available as a pictorial book showing you what people have completed around the world. This inspirational wall writing and book can provide you with hope at a time when you look for aspirational thoughts. From their website: After losing someone she loved, artist Candy Chang painted the side of an abandoned house in her neighbourhood in New Orleans with chalkboard paint and stencilled the sentence, “Before I die I want to _____.” Within a day of the wall’s completion, it was covered in colourful chalk dreams as neighbours stopped and reflected on their lives. Since then, more than 500 Before I Die walls have been created in over 65 countries and over 30 languages by passionate people all over the world. This beautiful hardcover book is an inspiring celebration of these public walls and the stories behind them. Filled with hope, fear, humour, and heartbreak, Before I Die presents an intimate portrait of the dreams within our communities and a chance to ponder life’s ultimate question with the people around us. You can buy the book from all of the usual places or go direct to the website. “Before I Die is merely one of the most creative community projects ever.” – The Atlantic Related articles New artwork in Milwaukee asks what you want to do before you die Before I Die – What is Important to You – Candy...

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Who Cares for the Carer?

Caring for a loved one or a close friend is vitally important for a loved one or a close friend, but what happens when you need help or care for yourself, either for just a few days or for a much longer period? The helpful people over at alzheimers.org explain the potential sets of circumstances very clearly, providing tips to help everyone through those demanding times. Where the carer receives no respite from providing care, day in day out, 24/7, there is an obvious health implication for the person providing the care. Care is provided for and by people of all ages with a wide range of different disabilities. Respite care is provided over a short-term period to provide a temporary alternative to the standard arrangements in place. Where you have been successfully caring for someone with dementia, there is a need for a break from the care activities so that your batteries can be recharged.   It is perfectly normal for a carer to feel guilty if they have to leave the person they are caring for, alone for any period of time, but you are not helping the individual that requires the care when your tasks make you ill. For the patient’s benefit, they will probably prefer to stay in familiar surroundings, rather than moving somewhere else, temporarily. The individual may not be able to understand, completely, why they are moving elsewhere, and whether they will return in a short period of time. This confusion can add to the anxiety of both carer and patient. The website offers a number of tips to help individuals avoid distress, such as; Avoid discussing arrangements too far ahead of the planned date. When the time comes, talk about the break in the context of a ‘little holiday’ and be positive in your explanation. Reassure the person with dementia that they will be well cared for and that they will be coming home again. Remember that any insecurity or uncertainty you show may cause the person with dementia to feel afraid, so stay calm and give information in a clear and simple manner. Stress is infectious, but so is calm. Remember that it is not selfish to want or need a rest. There are many sections, on the website, discussing the different ways that care can be provided and how, principally for patients with dementia. In particular, they explain how care at home can be...

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Buried, Cremated or … Frozen

You are probably already aware of your main choices after you die; do you wish to be buried or cremated, or would you like to be frozen until someone can find a cure for your illness? The kind people over at Remember A Charity want to know if you want to live forever. One person will be chosen to be frozen until medical science is able to retrieve them. As an alternative, you can choose to make a £1000 donation to charity, as the organisation essentially promotes the positive use of including a legacy within your will, so that a charity will receive money from your estate after you die. Using the cryonics technique, you will be frozen to -320 Fahrenheit, where you can be maintained in those circumstances until science has developed sufficiently to be able to restore you and solve your issues. The Live Forever website simply asks “ Do you want to live forever?” By clicking on the yes or no, you can add your details to enter the competition for the opportunity to be cryogenically frozen. Quoting from Rob Cope, Director at Remember A Charity: “Leaving a gift in a Will isn’t an easy topic to tackle, however, posing the question ‘do you want to live forever’ does make it a little easier to handle. We hope this campaign makes it clear that freezing yourself isn’t the only way to live forever. After taking care of your loved ones, including your favourite charity in your Will will help ensure the things you care about can live on.” Planning to leave your assets to charity is an important issue, just as preplanning your funeral and your funeral arrangements will help you and your family prepare for the inevitable, unless freezing of your body is your preferred option. Every legacy to a charity, after your death, helps good work continue all over the world. Should you choose to be frozen for a number of decades or even centuries, success will mean that you can meet family who will only have heard about you, through history. Related articles How cryonics works Want to live forever? Charities offer chance to be frozen after...

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5 Essentials to Complete Before You De

The Dying Matters Awareness Week runs from the 12 to 18 May, 2014. This is an event that has been organised by the Dying Matters Coalition where they encourage people to talk openly about dying, death and bereavement. The idea of the awareness week is to get as many people as possible thinking, talking and acting positively. In essence, they are suggesting that the public take five simple steps to make the life experience better, both of them and for all their loved ones. These are: Write your will Record your funeral wishes – preferably with a Pre-Paid Funeral Plan Plan your future care and support Consider registering as an organ donor Tell your loved ones your wishes The Dying Matters website shows a a full range of resources to help you get involved, including leaflets, posters, banners, advice on organising your own events and resources to help you engage with local media. Who are Dying Matters? From their website; Dying Matters is a broad based and inclusive national coalition of 30,000 members, which aims to change public knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards dying, death and bereavement. In 2009, the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) set up the Dying Matters Coalition to promote public awareness of dying, death and bereavement. It is chaired by Professor Mayur Lakhani, who is a practising GP. The work of the Coalition is supported by NCPC’s Board of Trustees. The main theme is that it’s vital to talk, plan and make arrangements for the end of life – before it’s too late.   Related articles Plan the death you want before it’s too...

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