Let's talk about the inevitable - dying and advance care plans

17 March 2024

This National Advance Care Planning week (18 to 24 March) is the perfect time to start a conversation with loved ones about what living well means to you and to them, and who should speak for you if you could no longer communicate or make your own health care decisions. It is also an opportunity to attend a local workshop about end of life care.

Ms Prue Buist, CEO of COORDINARE - South Eastern NSW PHN, said: “Dying and the need for an advance care plan are challenging topics for people to feel comfortable to discuss and we are supporting local communities to talk about these important issues.

"The need for an advance care plan is an important message for all of us, not just older people. Research shows that more than 50 per cent of Australians will not be able to make their own medical decisions at end-of-life but worryingly, only 15 per cent of people have an advance care directive. So it’s important to start the conversation about what sort of health care you would want if you could no longer speak for yourself.

COORDINARE is also wanting to create safe spaces to talk openly about dying and has engaged HammondCare to deliver Last Days Foundation workshops to equip people with practical knowledge and tools to help them navigate the last days of someone they care for.

People can join a 'Last Days' workshops online, or face to face in the Ulladulla and Shellharbour regions, details listed below. Topics covered in the workshop include: what to expect as we approach the end of our lives, what a death with dignity may look like, the role of palliative care and the choices we have. Other topics include future planning, common rituals, rules and regulations around death plus how grief and loss can impact individuals and support available.

Ms Buist added, "The Last Days program helps you understand what’s ahead when someone is at the end of their life, creates space for open conversations about their wishes and preferences and gives you practical knowledge to help you plan and prepare.

More information and resources about advance care planning is available from Advance Care Planning Australia and information about end of life care is available on COORDINARE’s website, www.coordinare.org.au/health-professionals/our-programs-and-priorities/palliative-and-end-of-life-care/.

Community members can register for the Last Days workshops via the links below:

Shellharbour Civic Centre, Tuesday 19 March, 10am to 1pm - to register bit.ly/491yglz

Ulladulla Civic Centre, Wednesday 20 March, 10am to 1pm - to register bit.ly/48HmfSA

Community, COORDINARE news, End of life care, Events, Media release