Free local workshops to prepare for end of life

20 February 2024

Local community members can join free online or face to face 'Last Days' workshops in Bega, Queanbeyan, Shellharbour and Ulladulla to help them navigate the last days of someone they care for.  

Prudence Buist, CEO of COORDINARE-South Eastern NSW PHN said, "Dying is a normal part of life, but many of us are unprepared for what happens and the practical steps to take after losing someone we care for. Around 5,500 people die every year in South Eastern New South Wales, the Last Days workshops are a safe space to talk openly about dying. 

"The Last Days program helps you understand what’s ahead when someone is at the end of their life, creates space for open conversations about their wishes and preferences and gives you practical knowledge to help you plan and prepare. 

"These workshops have received very positive feedback with 96% of attendees feeling more confident to support people with a life limiting illness and their carers and to start conversations about what's important to make a person's final days meaningful, comfortable and fulfilled," said Ms Buist. 

A recent workshop participant said, “It concreted in me the feeling that we need to talk about death and dying much more - the facilitator was brilliant - death is not a morbid subject and she was able to get this over to us all.” 

COORDINARE has engaged HammondCare to deliver their Last Days Foundation workshops to equip people with practical knowledge and tools including; the role of palliative care, what to expect as we approach the end of our lives, what a death with dignity may look like and the choices we have. Other topics include future planning, common rituals, rules and regulations around death plus how grief and loss can impact individuals and support available. 

HammondCare Clinical Nurse Palliative Care Consultant Rachael Zielinski will present the workshops. 

“Death and dying is the elephant in the room – and one of the last taboos,” she said. 

“We hope the program will provide a place to reflect and discuss death and dying, breaking down notions that preparing for end of life is technical, private and hidden.” 

Community members can register via the links below, all workshops are presented from 10am to 1pm with morning tea provided: 

  • Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre, Tuesday 27 February - to register click here. 
  • Breakfree Queanbeyan, Wednesday 28 February - to register click here. 
  • Shellharbour Civic Centre, Tuesday 19 March - to register click here. 
  • Ulladulla Civic Centre, Wednesday 20 March, to register click here. 

End of life care, Illawarra Shoalhaven, Media release, Southern NSW