New campaign shines light on the need for Australians to talk openly about death

South Australian ageing care provider ECH (Enabling Confidence at
Home) has launched a new campaign highlighting the need for Australians to talk openly about death with their loved ones to ensure any specific wishes or choices can be fulfilled.

Australia faces a significant societal challenge as death continues to be a subject that people shy away from, and due to shifting cultural norms and family structures, growing numbers of people are either reluctant or find this a very difficult topic to talk about.

Further adding to current concerns, Australia has one of the lowest rates in the developed world for people aged over 70 exercising their right to die at home, with the majority dying in hospital or residential aged care. This trend is adding to the strain on hospitals and the health care system in general and is contrary to what many people want.

According to the Productivity Commission, 70 per cent of people want to die at home, but only 10 per cent of people aged over 70 get to experience that wish.

As part of a new campaign (watch above video), which will appear across television, digital platforms and social media, ECH is highlighting the importance of talking about death and how having a conversation about your wishes can have a positive impact on the entire family.

ECH Chief Executive Dr David Panter said part of having a good life is being able to have a good death.

“A third of us think about death or dying at least once a week, yet most people still find it difficult to talk about. Death has become clinical and medicalised and all too often older people don’t feel able to plan for a good death,” said Dr Panter.

“People will have different views on where they may like to die and for some it may be at home with family and friends around them. Whatever your wish it’s important to have an open conversation with your family and friends so they are clear about your choices and can help these be fulfilled when the time comes.”

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