Do you know who would care for you if you suddenly fell ill?

Most people don’t according to a study by charity Independent Age[1] found many older people avoided talking about incapacity and ageing.

The survey of 2,000 people revealed over 60 per cent of 65-plus people hadn’t discussed their end-of-life wishes with their family. Another quarter had no plans to talk about it.

The conversation we have to have

While it’s a hard topic to bring up at the dinner table, the fact is we will all die and accidents and sudden illness can affect us at any age.

Ninety per cent of Australians have never told their family and friends about their wishes concerning end-of-life care and death. But we need to plan now if we want to make specific decisions about our health.

Remember: if you end up in palliative care, you may not be able to communicate your wishes to others.

Most people picture passing away peacefully at home, but this is often not the case. Around fifty per cent of Australians die in hospital – another 30 plus per cent in aged care[2].

With our ageing population only set to rise[2], now is the time to prepare for a ‘good death’.

We have a list of list of legal documents for preparing an end-of-life plan here on agedcare101.

[1] ‘Conversations about Care’ survey by ComRes for Independent Age – April 2016

[2] Grattan Institute’s ‘Dying well’ report by Hal Swerissen and Stephen Duckett – September 2014

Preparing for death – tips for what you need to do
  • Write a will and set up an advanced care plan for your family and doctor.
  • Make certified copies of legal documents and store them all securely.

  • Create an up-to-date list of personal details such as bank accounts, credits cards, medical records etc.

  • Choose an enduring guardian who can make health and care decisions for you.

  • Put down any burial or cremation requests.

  • Sort out any outstanding financial matters and make sure money can be easily accessed if you are paying for your own funeral.

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A special thanks to our contributors

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.