A pilot project will see Redlands tackle life's hardest chat

LIFE SUPPORT: Jacqui Williams will lead the Compassionate Communities Pilot Project with the RDCOTA to support people in their end of life transition.
LIFE SUPPORT: Jacqui Williams will lead the Compassionate Communities Pilot Project with the RDCOTA to support people in their end of life transition.

Redland residents are getting together to start tough conversations about death and grief to support people at the end of their lives.

The Redland District Committee of the Aging has received a Redland City Council grant to fund the Compassionate Communities Pilot Project at Victoria Point and Coochiemudlo Island.

The aim is to bring communities together on the subject of death and grief to support people experiencing the end of their life or having life-limiting conditions.

End of Life Doula Jacqui Williams will lead the project to encourage communities to open discussions about death and bereavement.

"Ironically, we plan for other life events like births, weddings, buying a house, a car... yet many don't discuss dying and death," she said.

"We have lost the art of caring for the dying."

Compassionate communities are groups of people concerned and interested in the quality of life of members of the community.

Ms Williams said these communities could provide invaluable support to people going through the toughest times of their lives.

"From the diagnosis of a life-limiting condition until death, a person will be exposed to a health professional for about five per cent of that journey, and the other 95 per cent they will be by themselves or with loved ones," she said.

"They can get depressed and socially isolated, so we need to educate people on providing support throughout that journey by normalising grief and loss.

"Compassionate Communities focus on supporting persons living with a serious illness, particularly at the end of life, their carers, friends, family and the bereaved, and we are trying to see if there's an apatite for this in Redlands."

While the project targets Victoria Point and Coochiemudlo Island, anyone can get involved across the broader Redlands community.

"Over the next 12 months, we will give people information, educate and listen to find out what is working in their community in the area of end of life care and support," Ms Williams said.

"We will engage with schools, businesses, health professionals, hospitals, retirement villages, carers, support groups, and anyone in the community to start this conversation."

The RDCOTA will hold forums for the Compassionate Community Pilot Project for Victoria Point on February 4 and Coochiemudlo Island on February 18 from 10am-12pm over zoom.

To register your interest, fill out the form online or contact Jacqui Williams on 0402 496 360.