CareSearch Blog: Palliative Perspectives

The views and opinions expressed in our blog series are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health.

Dying To Know Day: Everyone can make a difference.

A guest blog post from Kerrie Noonan, Cofounder and Director, The GroundSwell Project

  • 2 August 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 4614

What if we knew how to respond to death and loss when it happens in our family, workplace and community?
What if we knew how to access end of life and palliative care when we needed it?
What would it be like if more of us were willing and able to respond well to death?
What if we planned for death like we plan for other important life events?

Australians are not well prepared for death. Very few of us engage in end of life planning and even when diagnosed with a terminal illness, only 25% of people are able to share their wishes with their family members. 50% of us die without a Will. There is evidence, however, that the majority of people are eager to see more conversations about death taking place in the community. They are also looking for ways to talk with their family and care providers about death and dying.
D2KDay promotes death literacy, conversations and community actions around death, dying and bereavement. In Australia there is a growing interest in death literacy and building the capacity of the community to better able to support and care. Death Literacy is practical know-how needed to plan well for death. This includes knowledge, skills, and being able to take action toward planning well for end of life. Being involved in end of life care and having conversations can help build our death literacy, which is why the goal of #D2KDay is to bring conversations to life through community action.
This year we are inviting everyone to make a pledge to take action. Taking action, no matter how big or small, contributes to changing the way we talk about and plan for death.  So, tell us, what will you do?

D2KDay: An Overview:
Events: Almost 80 events nationally
Promo: “What’s your plan?: Dying To Know Day”
D2KDay is a community event that encourages people to develop their practical knowledge about end of life planning.
This includes encouraging people to:

  • Develop their death literacy
  • Make their end of life plans such as a will and advance care plans
  • Share these wishes with their families
  • Get informed about end of life and death care options such as dying at home, community led funerals and natural burial
  • Be better equipped to support family and friends experiencing death, dying and bereavement.

Why is Death Literacy Important?
'Death literacy' recognises the role that everyone has in end of life care and death care. Having knowledge helps us make informed decisions about the care, being able to act on that knowledge is empowering.
For example do you know:

  • What an advance care plan is and how it is used?
  • How to access palliative care in your area?
  • About alternatives to traditional cremation/burial in your local area?
  • Many of us are looking to build our death literacy so we can make informed decisions about our dying, end of life care and death.

Where did the term ‘Death Literacy’ come from?
Read about the research at Western Sydney University that sparked the term 'death literacy' here and here.

Kerrie Noonan, Cofounder and Director, The GroundSwell Project



1 comments on article "Dying To Know Day: Everyone can make a difference."

Jennifier Tieman

3/08/2016 6:19 PM

Important issue. Great resources. I hope Australians get involved in Dying to Know Day.

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The CareSearch blog Palliative Perspectives informs and provides a platform for sharing views, tips and ideas related to palliative care from community members and health professionals. 

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