Death is an uncomfortable topic for many of us. Dying To Know Day on August 8, each year, aims 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.
- 70% of us die in hospital, though most of us would prefer to die at home.
- Less than 10% of us die with an advance care plan
- The number of Australians aged 65 and over will double by 2050. This will increase 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. It 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.
How to take action
A key part of Dying to Know Day is taking action – no matter how big or small. Here is a list to inspire you and help get you started:
- I’m writing or rewriting my Will
- I’m going to have the chat about organ donation
- I made an appointment with a solicitor
- I’m writing or researching my advance care plan
- I downloaded some D2KDay resources to start a conversation
- I’m discussing my end of life wishes with a loved one
- I’m going to visit the grave of a loved one
- I will use social media to start a conversation about death, dying or grief.
- I’m starting up a conversation with a family member about their end of life wishes
- I’m researching my burial options
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.