Community education to build confidence and understanding of death and dying

Last Days Program Palliative Care HammondCare Rachael Zielinksi Corinne Bozsoky Melanie GouldWith approximately 160,000 people dying in Australia each year, the need for advice and resources on how to support loved ones and the community is fundamental. However, many of us find death very difficult to talk about.  

The Last Days Program aims to change this, with simple and effective education to boost the skills and confidence of carers, families and friends, to help a loved one facing imminent death.

The Last Days Program, developed by HammondCare, is a free pilot run in collaboration with Sydney North Health Network. With two workshops completed in September and November last year, the remaining two are coming up next month, with limited spaces availabe: March 2 for community members (5 participant capacity) and March 9 for family members with loved ones in residential aged care (8 participant capacity).

HammondCare Clinical Nurse Specialist Rachael Zielinski, a Last Days Program Coordinator, said the three-hour workshop seeks to demystify death. “As a community we need to reclaim the deeply human experience that is death and dying. We need to take a step back and revaluate our understanding of this.

“The Last Days Program is the beginning, allowing ourselves to learn, discuss, be guided and understand the process of normal dying.”

These free events will run in Chatswood from 10am-1pm on March 2 and 9 and are designed to support families and carers of someone facing death at any age.

Both workshops will be held at the Sydney North Health Network Training Rooms, Level 5, Tower 2, 475 Victoria Ave, Chatswood. While free to attend, due to COVID restrictions, people must register online beforehand.

The Last Days Program is expected to encourage public discussion about death and dying by improving awareness, creating engagement and strengthening the community’s ability to be a more death literate society.

The Last Days Program is a pilot, which will be evaluated with the aim to be rolled out more widely across Australia over the next year.

The course aims to:

  • Increased skills, confidence and provide resources to support and assist loved ones and their family in their last weeks and days of life
  • Encourage open discussion about death and dying
  • Encourage communities to seek support and be more active in making and documenting end-of-life choices for individuals
  • Provide a place to reflect and discuss death and dying, breaking down notions that preparing for end-of-life is technical, private and hidden

HammondCare brings to the Last Days Program more than 100 years' experience as one of Australia’s most innovative providers of palliative and supportive care.

The Pallliative Centre, established by HammondCare in 2020, offers a wide range of services in both clinical and community settings to those with a progressive life-limiting illness, alongside practical resources, research and education for patients, families and healthcare professionals. 

Click here for more information and to register for the free Last Days Program

Call 1300 884 304 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss further.