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September 2021

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Dying to know about end-of-life choices

Grampians Region Palliative Care Consortium has marked Dying to Know Day by encouraging people to talk about death and to take action to improve their comfort in and willingness to take time to talk about end-of-life choices.

Dying to Know Day is an annual Groundswell Project campaign encouraging people to start conversations about death.

The Groundswell Project works with individuals, organisations and communities to improve how people in Australia die, care and grieve.

It runs educational workshops, develops innovative programs and advocates for a better end of life experience for all.

Grampians Region Palliative Care Consortium is an advocate of Dying to Know Day and Wimmera Health Care Group’s palliative care service joined the initiative to talk about death.

Ballarat Health Services’ Grampians Regional Palliative Care Team, Ballarat Hospice Care Inc., East Grampians Health Service’s Central Grampians Palliative Care and Western Health’s Djerriwarrh Palliative Care joined the initiative.

Local end-of-life palliative care specialist teams encouraged conversations with patients and carers.

A recent survey, commissioned by Palliative Care Victoria, showed while most Victorians agreed it is important to talk openly about death and dying, in reality people rarely did.

Almost half of Victorians had never, or rarely, spoken about these matters with their friends and family over the past 12 months.

‘Dying is a normal part of life,’ said Wimmera Health Care Group nurse practitioner Maire Coffey.

‘It’s the part none of us want to think or talk about and now is the time to remove the taboo and talk about death.

‘If we have these vital conversations now, it will make those tough conversations in the future easier.’