Helping to make the hard conversations a little easier

Calvary Health Care, Mercy Health and Catholic Cemeteries + Crematoria have worked together on the initiative (Supplied)

A new initiative encourages Australians to have open and honest conversations and engage in timely planning for palliative and end-of-life care, dying, loss and grief. Source: Catholic Health Australia.

People often avoid end-of-life care planning for reasons including disregard for their mortality and fears surrounding palliative and end-of-life care.

To help deal with the issue, Calvary Health Care and its partners, Mercy Health and Catholic Cemeteries + Crematoria, launched their I Am Living public awareness initiative last month as part of Palliative Care Week.

I Am Living centres on highly intimate, authentic and educative video encounters with 11 people living with an advanced life-limiting or terminal illness.

Mark Green, Calvary’s national director of mission, said the I Am Living “conveys that each and every person matters to the last moment of their life”.

“Death is a certainty for us all, so planning for end-of-life care needs to become a routine part of our health planning, ideally when we are healthy,” Mr Green said.

“I Am Living aims to expand the understanding of dying through the provision of credible information about quality end-of-life care and sharing the lived experience of people who have found life, hope and healing as they approach the end-of-life.”

Frank Brennan, a palliative medicine physician of Calvary Health Care in Sydney, is part of a group supporting the development of I Am Living.

“As tempting as it might be, don’t shy away from these conversations,” Dr Brennan says.

“There’s often a sense among the living that the topic of death is overly morbid and shouldn’t be talked about. But it’s good for a person facing death in the near future to be able to express their feelings, and for them to have the opportunity to share their feelings before it is too late.”



Positive call to action on end-of-life planning (Catholic Health Australia)

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