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It may seem like an uncomfortable topic, but Dying To Know Day on August 8 is aiming to bring to life conversations around death, dying and bereavement.

At the heart of Dying to Know Day are events designed to get people talking about death, build death literacy in the community and encourage us all to take action toward end of life planning.

According to Dying to Know Day:

  • 75% of us have not had end of life discussions
  • 60% think we don’t talk about death enough
  • Over 70% of us die in hospital though most of us would prefer to die at home
  • Very few of us die with an advance care plan (less than 10 percent)
  • The number of Australians aged 65 and over will double by 2050 increasing our need to plan while well and share our wishes with our loved ones

How to get started with end of life planning

For those of us who are currently healthy, facing and talking about death might not seem like something that should be on our agenda. However, meaningful end of life planning can occur at any age, regardless of our health status. Getting informed and proactive can also help arm us with the knowledge to support our loved ones to make their own decisions about their end of life care.

The first step can be as simple as improving our death literacy – the practical know-how to plan well for end of life. Advance care planning is a process that involves making plans for your future medical care in the event that you become too unwell to make decisions for yourself. Advance care planning is an important way for people to not only think about what matters to them in regard to care but to communicate this to their loved ones. In Queensland, you can make your care wishes known by filling out a Statement of Choices form or an Advanced Health Directive.

Related content: What matters most in palliative care?

How to take action

A key part of Dying to Know Day is taking action – no matter how big or small. So, what will you do? Here is a list to inspire you:

  • I’m writing or rewriting my Will
  • I’m writing or researching my advance care plan
  • I’m discussing my end of life wishes with a loved one
  • I’m starting up a conversation with a family member about their end of life wishes
  • I’m going to have the chat about organ donation
  • I’m researching my burial options
  • I’m going to check-in on a recently bereaved friend
  • I’m going to read a book/watch a film about death
  • I’m going to visit the grave of a loved one
  • I attended a D2K Day event
  • I downloaded some D2KDay resources to start a conversation
  • I made an appointment with a solicitor
  • I’m going to use social media to start a conversation about death, dying or grief.

You can share your Dying to Know Day action on the Dying to Know website here.

How to find out more

If you are unsure of what your wishes are, Dying to Know Day has a list of death literacy, planning and conversation tools on their website that can get you thinking about your own personal preferences.

 

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Belinda Peters
Belinda brings more than 17 years experience in journalism to her role as Seasons Digital Content Writer. As our blog editor, Belinda will take the confusion out of aged care with entertaining and informative stories from across the aged care industry and our Seasons communities.