In some ground-breaking news for younger people at End Of Life, the NSW government announced last week that the first young adult hospice will open on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Big Bear Cottage – you can read about it here – will fill the current Bear Cottage gap; after attaining the majority age of 18 YA persons in need of ongoing support for life-limiting and terminal illnesses have not been able to continue accessing the support Bear Cottage provided when they were younger.
It will be good to see other states and regions following this model – let’s see what happens next for the YA community.
If you would like to better understand your End Of Life options, or need advocacy, support and information for a young (or not-so-young) person please do not hesitate to get in touch. I am an End Of Life Doula who is creative, straight-talking, and happy to help you navigate your options and choices in the way that works best for you.
There is a lovely article here about one woman’s experience of vigilling with her partner, Benjamin, and keeping Benjamin’s body at home for three days before transporting him to a crematorium.
Although the terminology and frameworks are USA-centric, the essentials are pretty much the same here in Australia. You do not need to employ a funeral director unless you wish to, and you may keep a body at home for up to five days legally.
If you are interested in exploring what your home-based End Of Life, vigilling, and after-death body care and funeral choices and options are, please do get in touch. I am available for consultation and for hire as an End Of Life Doula.
I have been offered a wonderful opportunity this week – I have been invited to present the lecture on “Death and Dying” for the Western Sydney University’s Health Psychology unit.
I will be concentrating my content in the following areas:
- The importance of using the correct terminology and plain speaking
- Compassionate communities and combatting lonliness
- Death literacy
- End Of Life choices and support in choice
- End Of Life Doulas
It is always fun and challenging for me to present a new lecture or lecture series, and I look forward to the week of May 14th when I will be presenting the lecture for students at both the Bankstown and Penrith campuses.
This is an excellent article for those wondering why access to medical cannabis is so horribly, needlessly difficult to attain in Australia.
We are working against an entrenched (and erroneous) myth of marijuana as a ‘gateway’ drug, the lingering damage of a War On Drugs mindset*, and a strong grip on the medical and legal pathways in Australia by pharmaceutical companies.
There is a good deal of evidence-based research available to us from several countries about the help cannabis oil and medical marijuana provides in chronic and End Of Life cases.
If you would like to find out more about your End Of Life choices please feel free to get in touch with me, I am happy to help you better understand your options.
*Frequently fuelled by religous prejudice as well as widespread public mis-information that dates back to the time of Randolph Hearst wanting to spend a few pennies less for bales of cotton paper to print newspapers rather than hemp paper – free anti-cannabis advertising anyone??! This is really true; therefore Rupert Murdoch is not the only media mogul to do a great disservice to our communities and societies by spreading lies and mistruths in order to further his own business ends (see phone hacking and the Milly Dowler case, for example). But that is probably another blog post for another day…
Came back from my – unplugged & lovely – holiday last night to discover that both of the abstracts I had submitted to the 17th Biennial conference with the European Society for Health and Medical Sociology (ESHMS) have been accepted!
The conference – Old Tensions, Emerging Paradoxes in Health: rights, knowledge, and trust – will see me speak about the role of End Of Life Doulas in Australia, as well as ownership of the body, and body autonomy, after death in Australia (including disruptions to the corporatised medical and funeral industry models we are currently seeing emerge in Australia). For example, in Victoria Natural Grace Funerals, and in NSW Picaluna – funeral alternatives like these two companies offer true choice, time, individualisation, and (often) much less expensive End Of Life/funeral options for their clients compared to traditional corporate models. Economies of scale have seen us with our current models, however it is always good to know what your rights, options and choices are.
If you are interested in a funeral that suits you and reflects your life and personality please do not hesitate to get in touch, I am happy to help you understand what your real choices are for funerals and End Of Life.
There is a very useful article from Discover Society which considers what happens in families – and in terms of acting like ‘family’ – when someone is at End Of Life.
The article also contains some useful additional reading at the bottom of the page.
Would you like to explore the world of End Of Life and building compassionate communities and networks, including family?