New Last Days progam aims to support thousands impacted by death daily

Supporting someone as they are dying is not front of mind for most people but is surprisingly common, as is the need for advice and resources, according to coordinator of the Last Days Program, HammondCare’s Genevieve Antill.

last days 01 580The Last Days Program is an education course which provides skills and confidence to help a person in the last months, weeks and days of their life and the next pilot program will be held an Lane Cove on October 27 and is delivered as a short day course in 3 hours.The first ever pilot progam was held in Mosman this week.

“About 160,000 people die in Australia each year* or about 440 every day and the rate would be higher in areas with an older population such as northern Sydney,” Genevieve said.

“We know from overseas data that each person that dies may leave behind an average of five grieving people, so that’s more than 2000 people in Australia impacted every day by the death of a loved one,” she said.

“These are relatives and friends accompanying the dying person through these often challenging days, trying to understand how to help, how to care for each other and what to do about the many practical, social, emotional and spiritual issues that arise.

“That’s why the Last Days Program is so important and why these pilot groups could lead to support for thousands of people at the most difficult time of life.”

Key aims of the Last Days Program include to:

  • increase skills and confidence to assist loved ones and their family in the last weeks and days of life
  • encourage communities to seek support and be active in making and documenting end-of-life choices for individuals
  • provide a place to reflect and discuss death and dying.

Genevieve said issues addressed range from symptoms that may be experienced, what the moments after death are like, through to practical concerns such as how to manage all the admin, including social media when a loved one dies.

Working with Sydney North Health Network to develop the program, the course consists of four short modules which, among other things, will improve awareness of palliative care.

It has been developed in consultation with community members with life experience of caring for someone who is dying and will be delivered by specialist palliative care clinicians and educators.

Numbers for the Lane Cove pilot program are strictly limited so email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit Last Days Program to find out more.

References:

* https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/life-expectancy-death/deaths-in-australia/contents/age-at-death

** https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/mental-health/grief/related/grief-statistics/