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Having courageous conversations with your important people

Dallas Pounds, Director of Services at Lymphoma Action talks to Lesley Carter, Clinical Lead for Professionals and Practice at Age UK.

Whether you have a diagnosis of lymphoma or not, there are times in life when we think about our own mortality, and what we would like to happen at the end of our life, or if we become unable to make decisions for ourselves. We appreciate that this can be a difficult subject: some people don't want to think about it, and it can be a taboo.

In this podcast we talk about how making plans for end of life can be empowering and reassuring, and can take away elements of worry for people by knowing things are in order, which can be an important part of living. We discuss how to get your affairs in order, how to plan for a loss of mental capacity or end of life care, and how to have some of these – often challenging – conversations with family and friends.

Having courageous conversations with your important people

Dallas and Lesley share a passion to change society’s relationship with death and dying, and to support all of us to have timely conversations about our wishes, should a time come when we can no longer speak for ourselves; through a lack of mental capacity or when we die. Courageous conversations with those who are important to us can be empowering and reassuring for those we leave to make decisions on our behalf. In this podcast, Dallas and Lesley talk about triggers for thinking about these issues, practical things to consider, how to plan for and have these conversations, and how - once you've had the conversation - you can pack your wishes into a box and put it away until later.

Also available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify   

In this podcast we refer to your 'important people' and by this we mean anyone who is important to you in your life. This could be your family members, but also your friends and those who you trust and would like to be part of any advanced plans you make.

Useful organisations

You may find the following organisations helpful.

Information on practical aspects

If you are thinking about writing a will, a lasting power of attorney, an advance care plan or any other official documents about your health and welfare if you need it, you might like to look at the following resources from these organisations.

Age UK - resources for end of life planning, including making a will, power of attorney and financial support.

NHS Lasting power of attorney (LPA) - for anyone looking for information on LPAs, including links to how to make and register both the health and welfare LPA and the property and financial affairs LPA.

NHS Universal Principles for Advance Care Planning document - for anyone looking for information on advance care planning for themselves or someone close to them.

Information about planning for end of life, and having conversations with your important people

The following organisations have information about planning for end of life and for preparing to discuss your wishes with your important people.

Age UK - Let's talk about death and dying video and booklet (covers the topics of dying and how to talk about it).

Anne Robson Trust - provide a telephone support service and 'My Wishes' checklist to help people plan for- and have- conversations about end of life.

Compassion in Dying - information to help you start planning and recording your wishes, including advance decisions (living wills).

Sources of support around bereavement and grief

There are many organisations that offer support for anyone who has been bereaved or is anticipating a bereavement. Here are just some of them.

Cruse Bereavement Support - support for grief and bereavement, including a specialist helpline.

The Good Grief Trust - information and advice for people who have been bereaved.

The Samaritans - support available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for anyone who is having a difficult time or is worried about someone else.

Child Bereavement UK - an organisation specifically supporting grieving children or for when a child has died.

You can also contact your local hospice to ask what support they are able to offer, or ask your GP about whether you can be referred for counselling.


You can also contact the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 678 1602 (lines are open from 8am to 7pm, every day). You can also contact our Lymphoma Action helpline on 0808 808 5555 (lines are open from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday).

Lymphoma and the end of life

You can read our information about lymphoma and the end of life here.

Lymphoma Voices podcasts

You can find a full list of all of our Lymphoma Voices podcasts here.