Grief and loss associated with deterioration and death for people using aged care services is an important issue for the sector. We need to consider how best to support older people at the end of life, their families and friends, and the staff who provide care.
In 2020, there were 161,300 deaths in Australia and two-thirds were among people aged 75 and over. Around half of these deaths were in hospital and thirty percent in residential aged care. Most people adapt to the death of a family member or friend over time and their grief is managed with support from friends, family, and community. But some people will experience worsening quality of life and may struggle to deal with complicated or prolonged grief. Grief and bereavement resources are available to support older people, families and friends, and the aged care workforce.