To quote one of the judges of the 2021 Future of Ageing awards, ‘end of life and funeral care needs to be talked about in the context of aged care – it’s a really important topic that gets no attention!’
They were talking about an entry from BARE that went on to be awarded highly- commended for their personalised end-of-life services encompassing death, funerals, grief and estate law. To read some of the overwhelmingly positive reviews on the service – reviews.io
BARE was formed around two years ago and ran numerous focus groups to understand what people want when death occurs. From this research it would seem that families and aged care providers want broadly the same thing, which is something they highlighted in their awards entry:
1. Compassionate, individualised care
2. Emotionally (and physically) painless end-of-life transition
3. Dignified end-of-life services
Building on this research the team has now released what may be Australia’s most comprehensive national report on end-of-life and funeral care. It found that Australians want more bespoke ways to say goodbye instead of traditional, cookie-cutter funerals.
The report titled, Australian Funeral Industry: State of the Nation, is an independent study of almost 3,500 Australians, commissioned by Bare Cremation and endorsed by University of Melbourne’s Dr Hannah Gould – a cultural anthropologist specialising in death and religion.
According to the research the majority of Australians have attended at least one funeral in the last 5 years, yet do not know the options or requirements around end-of-life planning.
Of those who had arranged a memorial and were dissatisfied; 70% felt that complaining would have been a waste of time and 49% didn’t know who to complain to.
As an industry (worth $1.7bn annually) it would seem little has been done to provide such insight to consumers who in almost every other way demand transparency and accountability when making purchasing and life decisions.
Things are changing and the study cites COVID as bringing significant change to the sector with more information available online, live streaming and an increase in bespoke memorials and attendance using digital technology.