Death and Dying – an important topic to get right

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This month at the DCM Institute, we’re focusing on the topic of Death and Dying.

It’s an issue many of us may deal with in our roles, and a difficult one to broach.

For us, there are two key elements:

  • Awareness of end of life law
  • Acknowledgement that everyone deals with death in a different, personal way

The importance of knowing the rules

Kylie Harding from business management firm Critical Success Solutions shared some insights in the presentation ‘End of Life Innovation’ from our September webinar series.

For Kylie, a knowledge of end life law is essential.

While you don’t have to be an expert, knowing the basics, or at least where this information can be found, is key to managing difficult conversations.

“It reduces your risk of providing the wrong advice or sharing misinformation, and improves your communication with families and their substitute decision makers,” she says.

“When disputes arise, it’s often because people misunderstand the law. Knowing the law gives you a foundation so you can say I know about that, or I know where to get the information.”

Kylie also shared some valuable organisations and resources you can find on our Industry Links page.

An innovative look at end of life

Another tool that’s crossed our paths recently is the YourLifeTalks App, and it can be a great way to gently broach difficult end of life topics.

YourLifeTalks basically works on the principle that everyone has a story to tell.

By encouraging users to share their life stories and values, it provides a natural segue to important discussions about future choices and wishes.

Questions are posed around two conversation topics:

  • Your Life Story’

    Questions about the important events that shape our lives – childhood, first job, meeting a partner, having children and travel, through to the influences along the way that add texture and colour to who we are, and what we value.

  • ‘Your Life Wishes’

    Questions that address our future ageing plan. Topics covered include making a Will, Powers of Attorney, Advance Care Plan or Healthcare Directive, a life-limiting illness, moving into an aged care home, life support, organ donation, funeral arrangements and memorialisation.

The Kiwi Coffin Club

And here’s proof that everyone’s approach to end of life is different.

The Kiwi Coffin Club is a community group like no other – they build their own customised coffins!

Every coffin is decorated to reflect the life of its maker, and is a much cheaper option than commercial coffins which typically start at $2,000.

The Kiwi Coffin Club even created a mini-documentary, filmed in the style of a musical, to showcase their work. Take a look here, you’re going to love it.

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