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Eastern cultures more liberal about death

When people think about ageing and aged care, inevitably they are faced with having to consider the mortality of a loved one.

It’s a topic not often discussed. In fact, we actively avoid it.

And in failing to confront our mortality, we also fail to consider what it is that’s important to us as we age, believes Envigor Home Care executive manager, Tracey Silvester.

She defined autonomy or self-determination as the right to determine what, when, where, how and with whom we do the things we do.

Ultimately, that concept applies to death as well. However, this experience is made worse when people enter aged care where they might feel they surrender their autonomy and purpose.

Silvester added that as people age the notion of the end of life becomes pivotal, so it’s important to have those conversations.

She added that our culture had a lot to do with the outlook of passing.

“It’s particularly a western thing because in a lot of eastern cultures death is talked about readily with children,” Silvester said.

“They are used to going to funerals from a young age so it’s not something that’s seen as horrible or scary, and by and large in our western culture, death doesn’t seem to be to be spoken about – it seems to be feared.”

Silvester said we can take something away from eastern cultures – that when someone dies it means their life can be celebrated.

Click below to hear more from Silvester.

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