AN expert in palliative care is asking the community for help in tackling one of the last taboos.

Deputy head of care at St Teresa’s Hospice, Elizabeth Price, is seeking opinion on how to be more open about death.

She is looking to hear from health professionals, solicitors, financial organisations, funeral directors and members of the public.

Mrs Price was a Macmillan nurse for eight years and has been a qualified nurse for 25 years.

She was inspired to look at the issue after attending a palliative care symposium which aimed to raise awareness about being ready for death.

She said: “One day death comes to us all yet sensitivity and politeness and perhaps fear have transformed death into passing on and dying into life-limiting illnesses.

“I’ve witnessed on a daily basis people’s reluctance to talk about the end of life, which is after all a natural process, just like being born.”

According to research, more than a third of people say they rarely or never think of death and only 35 per cent of adults have made a will.

Less than a third of people have let anyone know their funeral wishes and just seven per cent have written down their hopes about the care they would want to receive if they couldn’t make decisions.

About a quarter of adults have asked their family about their end of life wishes and only a third have registered to be an organ donor.

Mrs Price added that talking about death can help with the bereavment process.

She said: “Not too long ago we would prepare for death and ‘get our affairs in order’.

“Yet today it’s amazing how many people don’t tackle what they consider to be a conversation too difficult to have with their loved ones.

"In reality these conversations can really help patients and their families come to terms with life, death and the inevitable bereavement process before them.”

Anyone wanting to share their views can contact Mrs Price at