Talking about dying won't kill you

Media Release

Monday 23 May 2016 

Talking about dying won’t kill you

Anyone with a chronic illness is being urged to talk about their end-of-life wishes with their loved ones and doctors this National Palliative Care Week, 22 – 28 May 2016. 

Dementia Australia supports Palliative Care Australia’s (PCA) campaign which focuses on: Living well with chronic illness.

There is a long-term misconception that palliative care is only for cancer patients. Many people don’t realise that early access to palliative care can help people with chronic illness to live well and improve their quality of life.

Dementia Australia CEO Carol Bennett said with dementia being the second leading cause of death in Australia, it is undoubtedly one of the leading chronic diseases of our time.

“People often don’t realise that dementia is a terminal illness and therefore don’t make the association between dementia and palliative care.

“It is so important that when someone receives a diagnosis of dementia they discuss their end-of-life wishes with their loved ones as early as possible. This helps to ensure they will receive the care they want at a time when they may no longer have the capacity to make those wishes known.” Ms Bennett said.

There is estimated to be more than 353,800 Australians living with dementia, which is expected to soar to almost 900,000 people by 2050[1].

“Talking about dying can be extremely difficult, the PCA Dying to Talk Discussion Starter is a great tool to initiative palliative care discussions, especially for people with dementia, whose cognitive ability will continue to decline.

“Having these conversations while they still can is crucial to ensuring they can experience a dignified death, which respects their personal wishes and expectations.” Ms Bennett said.

For more information about advanced care planning and end-of-life you can also visit: Start2Talk.


[1] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2012) Dementia in Australia

Media enquiries:
Bianca Armytage | 0407 019 430 | [email protected]

Dementia Australia is the peak body representing people with dementia and their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. More than 353,800 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than half a million by 2030.

National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500
An interpreter service is available
(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)
Dementia is a National Health Priority Area

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