Did you know that 75 per cent of us have not had an end of life discussion and 70 per cent of us die in hospital despite most preferring to die at home?
Dying to Know Day on August 8 is a national event designed to bring to life conversations and actions around death, dying and bereavement and to help grow the capacity of individuals and community groups to take action toward end of life planning.
Abbeyfield House Mortlake chief executive officer Deb Rantall said the day was designed to break the stigma around talking about death.
“This is something that I’m very passionate about because we all have the right to be involved in what the end of our life looks like,” she said.
“Of course talking about it can be painful, but it’s certainly my view that not talking about can often lead to more emotional pain for individuals and their families.
“Making an end of life plan, such as a will and advance care plan, helps people share their feeling about their death with their family while they are still empowered to do so.”
Ms Rantall said Dying to Know Day talked a lot about ‘Death Literacy’ – the practical know-how needed to plan well for end of life.
“This includes knowledge, skills and being able to take action. Getting involved in end of life care and having conversations can help build our death literacy,” she said.
“When you are informed about end of life, there are options to consider such as dying at home, traditional cremation and burial options in your area, bereavement and whole host of other things.
“The number of Australians aged 65 and over will double by 2050 – increasing our need to plan well and share our wishes with our loved ones.
“Talking about death isn’t morbid, it’s not weird and it shouldn’t be taboo because it’s part of life.”
Dying to Know Day is an initiative of The Groundswell Project. Please visit the Dying to Know website for more at www.dyingtoknowday.org
*Statistics provided by The Groundswell Project