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End of life study

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By Fiona Reid
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End of life study

RESEARCHERS want to hear about the challenges faced at the end of life by people living in poverty in Dumfries and Galloway

And they are appealing for families and individuals locally to share their experiences for the new study, Dying In The Margins.

Research associate Dr Jane Rowley, who is based at the University of Glasgow’s Dumfries campus, explained they are creating short, digital stories about people’s experiences of end of life care and support.

She said: “Each participant will decide the story they want to tell. This is a really important aspect of this research. We want participants to tell their story in their own words. Participants will read their story and rather than be in the film they will choose photographs, pictures, and music to illustrate it.

“We want to use these digital stories to educate and inform clinical and palliative care specialists, social care professionals, volunteers, as well as individuals in our communities who may themselves be carers or will become a carer in the future.”

They are also planning exhibitions across Scotland to share the digital stories as soon as it becomes safe to do so.

Dr Rowley added: “We have re-designed our project to work online and feel with so many more people being pushed into poverty, even more will have stories to share about their experiences.

“We know that finances have a big impact on the choices people can make when diagnosed with advanced serious illness but there is not research available to help people, policies to change and for people to have a choice about where they die. This puts extra pressure on families, as well as those at the end of life, especially in rural areas and those living in areas of multiple deprivation, so our study is focused on Dumfries and Galloway and Glasgow.”

One family from Dumfries have already taken part and made a digital story about their aunt who moved to the town from Glasgow to work at the Aerodrome during the war. She then died in Glasgow when she was 93.

Researchers want to contact people who have been bereaved for at least three months but no more than two years; who had a relative or friend struggling to make ends meet financially and who lived in an area of high deprivation.

n To find out more, go to www.gla.ac.uk/research/az/endoflifestudies/projects/dying-in-the-margins/#digitalstorytellingpilot

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