Aussies ‘in the dark’ about loved ones’ dying wishes

A new survey of Australians who had recently lost a loved one found half had not discussed their end of life care, with a similar number (just 56 per cent) confident their loved one’s end of life wishes were carried out.

The survey, released today by Palliative Care Australia (PCA), found only 15 per cent of those who died had an advance care plan in place which detailed their wishes, and almost one in three (30 per cent) weren’t cared for in the place of their choice.

Palliative Care Australia CEO Dr Yvonne Luxford said the findings highlight the importance of both talking about end of life care with loved ones and planning for when the time comes.

‘Unfortunately the survey reveals Australians simply aren’t having conversations about death and dying and are therefore flying blind when it comes to understanding the end of life wishes of their loved ones,’ Dr Luxford said.

‘Discussions about the type of care we want, and where we want to be cared for are important for every single one of us. The fact is palliative care is everyone’s business.

‘While there is nothing tougher than losing a loved one, talking about and planning for a loved one’s final weeks is a simple act of love everyone can do to reduce the burden on those left behind and help make decision making simpler at a difficult time.’

PCA commissioned the online survey of 1,000 Australians who had recently lost a loved one to understand their experience preparing for, and coping with, the death of a loved one. The results have been released to mark National Palliative Care Week which runs from May 19 to 25.

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