We live in a society that doesn’t like to talk about dying, let alone plan for the care it would like to receive at the end of life, and we know that one of the greatest barriers to receiving quality care at the end of life is a lack of knowledge and preparation.
We are well aware that people don’t like to talk about the end stage of their lives and unless they have had some direct experience with palliative care, they tend not to know what support is available. This lack of understanding often extends to family or loved ones, who can be integral in decision making when the time comes.
It is true that the theme is confronting – Let’s chat about dying. Our first reactions to this statement may be ‘why’, or an outright ‘no’. Thinking about dying and talking about death is difficult for most Australians, it is not something that they want to do.
But although something is difficult, can we afford to ignore it?
Death is an experience we will all go through, and it is important that we have thought about the end stage of our lives, talked about it with our loved ones, and planned for it. We want to encourage people to think about where they would like to be when they die, who they want to be present, and importantly communicating this to family and loved ones.
Together we can realise quality care at the end of life for all Australians. (Taken from Palliative Care Australia – About National Palliative Care Week)
My first reaction was “but we don’t need palliative care”. I
feared what this meant. I felt more comfortable when I
realised that palliative care was much more than just
nursing a dying person – it was about holistic support and
understanding, ensuring that my husband could still “live”
as best he could in the time he had left. I know my family
would not have coped nearly as well physically and
emotionally without it.