LET’S TALK ABOUT DYING
For most of us, thinking about death is difficult and talking about it harder still.
Because of this we speak of it in whispers, or avoid the subject altogether. This seems respectful, but often leads to distress.
At LifeCircle, we believe dying should be discussed openly. This requires delicacy of course, but anyone who has had ‘that conversation’ knows the sense of relief it brings.
When asked, 80% of people in Australia say they would rather die peacefully at home, yet only 20% actually do so. There can be many reasons for this, but if you have at least talked, you can plan and prepare accordingly.
Talking about dying can also encourage rich and valuable discussion about what really matters in life. It can deepen our relationships.
WHY WE EXIST
WE WANT DYING TO BE UNDERSTOOD AS A
NATURAL PART OF LIFE
Although our lives naturally come to an end, looking after someone who is dying does not come naturally. It takes knowledge and experience most of us have not acquired. Unless you’re medically trained – even if you are – caring for someone who is dying can be confronting.
As a result of this ‘experience gap’, as a society we require hospitals to play a major role in the dying process. Many people end their lives there, whether or not it was their wish to do so.
LifeCircle exists to help bridge this experience gap around dying, so people are better informed and have more choice and control over what happens at the end of someone’s life.
We cannot change the fact that sooner or later we die. What we can change is our attitude to dying and our ability to cope with the experience.
WHAT WE DO
WE SUPPORT THE CIRCLE
OF PEOPLE WHO CARE
LifeCircle’s work has three critical areas of focus.
Firstly, we connect people who are caring for a dying family member or friend to information and advice to help them make choices about end of life matters.
We can draw on the wisdom of many people who have ‘been there before’, as well as a wealth of existing information – from advice on palliative care to ideas on making the most of the final days of life.
Our role is to be the circle that connects all these resources, as well as being a valuable contributor ourselves.
Secondly, we enhance the capacity of carers and families to care for themselves and care for each other, as well as caring for the person who is dying.
We do this through a range of strategic partnerships and collaborations with organisations who share our belief.
And thirdly, we continue to work to remove the social stigma around dying, to bring it into the open and accepted as a natural part of life.
HOW WE WORK
LIFECIRCLE OPERATES AS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
We run commercially like a business, though our goal is not to make a dollar profit. Instead we aim to effect social change around attitudes to dying. The greater the change, the better we are performing.
OUR STRATEGIC PARTNERS
We work with organisations that share our beliefs.
We have a number of strategic partners who support our vision of an Australia where dying is more openly discussed, better prepared for and less institutionalised. They also agree that carers should be strongly empowered and consequently more resilient.
These partners include:
We work with facilitators, connectors and capacity builders around death and dying for the circle of people they work with and for: clients, customers, employees, volunteers and the broader community.
LifeCircle is funded primarily through these strategic partnerships. We are wholly independent and receive no additional government funding.
LifeCircle has the Vice Regal Patronage of Mrs Linda Hurley, wife of His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), the 38th Governor of New South Wales.
Mrs Hurley has a keen interest in pastoral and palliative care. Mrs Hurley’s biography can be found here.
LifeCircle is governed by a dynamic mix of business leaders, entrepreneurs, and industry specialists.
There is a huge worldwide online community who appreciate a diversity of content about issues around death and dying. We have included links to some of the most informative and useful articles and video extracts, below.
LifeCircle posts intelligent, informative and topical posts through our facebook page. We welcome you to follow our posts and contribute to our conversations.