You never stop learning in this business. And, it goes without saying that eziFunerals loves to learn more and more about the funeral profession.
So, when we saw this article entitled “We Need to Rethink How We manage Death-Care” by Professor Tamara Kohn, Professor Michael Arnold, Dr Fraser Allison, Dr Hannah Gould, Samuel Holleran, University of Melbourne; and Professor Alex Broom, University of Sydney, we did learn a lot more.
According to the authors, Australia’s death-care system is already showing cracks, but the pressures will only worsen, especially as the baby boomer generation takes us into ‘peak death’.
Since 1950, Australia’s population has tripled, but so far deaths haven’t kept pace as advances in medicine, nutrition and care have kept people alive for longer. This has led to a fifteen-fold increase in the proportion of society made up of the “oldest old” – people aged 85 years or more.
Running out of space (for the Dead)
A comprehensive survey from 2020 in Sydney shows that there are virtually no available burial plots in cemeteries close to the communities that most people live in, identify with, and want to remain in after death.
Dying in poverty
For those marginalised in life, death often adds insult to injury. “Destitute funerals” typically result in cremation, but otherwise can involve interring two, three, or more dead bodies together in common graves, their names unmarked.
Impacts on the environment
Modern western burial and cremation practices have serious environmental impacts. Their outputs contribute to global warming; the depletion of the ozone layer; human, aquatic and terrestrial toxicity; the acidification of soil; and land competition.
It is time to care for, and effectively regulate, death
So, what should we do? The authors raise a number suggestions that we need to consider in order to provide a “good death” for Australians.
First, we need to recognise that death is both a systemic social issue and a continuous responsibility, not a momentary issue to neglect until brought to the fore by a pandemic or other crisis.
Policy and governance for the death-care sector need to be directly and cohesively refigured. We also need a new social infrastructure that encourages society to talk and think more openly about death rather than sidelining or hiding it.
The authors say that change must be underpinned by a robust evidence base and we need to start now, before the next crisis, to build a new system for death care that is sustainable, respectful and responsive to diverse community needs, with benefit to all.
eziFunerals supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company. We are not part of any other funeral company.
Our member Funeral Directors operate in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Australia wide. Thet are chosen for their knowledge, quality, service, personalisation and experience. They go above and beyond, and will take the time to support the family.
For more information or to make contact with a trusted Independent funeral director, call eziFunerals on 1300 236 402 or visit www.ezifunerals.com.au.