National Palliative Care Week aims to raise awareness about ageing and encourage people to talk about end-of-life care before it’s too late. This year’s theme is ‘What Matters Most’, which addresses the need for people to not only plan ahead but let their loved ones know their wishes.
Statistics from Palliative Care Australia show that 82% of Australians feel that talking about their own death and dying is important, but when it comes down to it, most people don’t actually have the conversation. By 2056, it is projected there will be 8.7 million older Australians, and by 2096, 12.8 million people will be aged 65 years and over. With the ageing population, it’s essential that people talk to their friends and loved ones about their end-of-life care.
Renowned chef Kylie Kwong says she recently spoke to her mother, who is seventy-six, about her wishes for her end of life. “I kept putting off this conversation, because whenever I think of the thought of mum not being around, it breaks my heart. But I did want to have the conversation with her because it’s important,” she says. In the end, she was glad she spoke up. “It was the most wonderful conversation, it was uplifting, it was empowering. I felt clear, I felt settled in my heart. I felt at peace about things, ’cause I now know my Mother’s wishes.”
Having the conversation with her mother also made Kylie consider her own end-0f-life care. “I want to be in a spiritual and emotional place where I am at ease and peace, I want to be surrounded by my loved ones.”
National Palliative Care Week runs from 20-26 May 2018.