DYING To Know Day, held this year on August 8, is about bringing to life conversations and community actions around death, dying and bereavement.
Meaningful value-based, end-of-life planning occurs at any age and regardless of health status.
Planning ahead means we have the opportunity to communicate what we do and don't want at the end of life consistent with our values and wishes.
If a person waits too long to make a plan they may experience care they might not have chosen.
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Statistics suggest that although over 70 per cent of us die in hospital, most of us would prefer to die at home.
Very few of us die with an advance care plan (less than 10 per cent). 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
Dying To Know Day has been designed to encourage death literacy. Making end-of-life plans such as a will and advance- care plans requires us to get informed about end-of-life and death-care options, like dying at home, home- and community-led funerals and natural burial.
By taking the time to learn what to expect and thinking through the options, and making desires known to those who will care for us, we do all that we can to ensure that our wishes will be followed.
Opening up the conversation and putting plans in advance will also reduce the stress for people left behind.
Death is a natural part of life and the more time we take to prepare, the better equipped we become to deal with it personally and support others experiencing the process too.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
■ Host a Dying to Know Day event in your local community or workplace and start a conversation
■ Host a Death Cafe or a Death over Dinner event
■ Take a personal action such as writing your will or having a conversation with a loved one
■ Sign up for a 10Things workshop and kick start your end of life planning.
For more information visit www.dyingtoknowday.org.