According to the article, a lack of acceptance, planning and ineffective communication means that all too often, the attitudes and preferences of a person in the last stage of life, are neither discussed, understood, or championed.
“Australians on the whole, don’t talk openly about death and dying. The topic makes people uncomfortable,” said Professor of Intensive Care and The Violet Initiative Clinical Committee member, Prof Ken Hillman, AO, Sydney.
The article highlights Violet as an early intervention system and explains how the organisation’s work with people in the last stage of life, their families and the organisations they interact with, delivers targeted support to provide relief, build resilience and reduce regretful outcomes. Proving that the topic is one that deeply resonates with the Australian public, the piece stirred national media coverage including 7news.com.au, ABC radio and more than 120 newspapers and 40 radio stations across the country.
There is an urgent need to recognise, talk about, and prepare for the last stage of life. The Violet Initiative estimates more than half of the 100,000 predictable deaths in Australia each year have regretful outcomes, when things don’t go to plan, or there is no plan.
Regret is a very personal emotion, but it carries widespread costs for families, businesses, the health system and society. The system cost model is complex. The Violet Initiative estimates this adds up to a $1billion problem that continues to rise in line with our ageing population.
Emerging social trends and shifting policy frameworks highlight this complexity. COVID-19 placed a spotlight on this issue, providing an opportunity for Federal and State governments to make a step change in how the last stage of life and the end of life are addressed.
Regretful outcomes also come at significant human cost, often as a result of uncertainty, lack of planning and preparation, rushed decision making and poor communication.
The issue of regretful outcomes in the last stage of life is above any individual corporate, industry sector, demographic or Ministerial Portfolio - it is a widespread human issue that, for too long, we have thought about too late.
The Violet Initiative is now scaling our programs and interventions across health care, aged care, financial services, insurance and superannuation.
We are extremely keen to progress the work of The Violet Initiative with the Commonwealth and the State Governments, and are seeking investment to trial Violet’s interventions with early-adopting States and health systems. Please email Violet’s Head of Partnerships, Lauren Sullivan, for further information.
Chief Executive Officer