The saying goes that in life you can't avoid death and taxes.
Some rich and powerful people somehow find ways to not pay taxes but at some point, everybody dies.
Wendy Reilly would like to help as many people as possible manage a good death.
That's why the long-time registered nurse recently trained with well-known Kiama physician Dr Michael Barbato to become a death midwife.
Also known as a death doula, Ms Reilly assists in the dying process, much like a midwife or doula does with the birthing process.
As TAFE NSW's aged care head teacher, Ms Reilly is leading a course at Wollongong TAFE that aims to help locals open up a dialogue around death and help those caring for others at the end-of-life.
Midwifing Death - Life Around Death is a six-week short course starting on May 10 that includes two hours a week of online learning and a one-day face-to-face workshop, known as a "Death Café".
TAFE NSW was recently "gifted" the course by retired palliative care doctor and author of the book Caring for the Dying, Dr Michael Barbato, who ran a similar course himself for two decades.
"He has given us all his information, knowledge and wisdom to be able to share it," Ms Reilly said. "I actually also did a course personally so I could help people manage a good death."
She added while the subject matter could be confronting, the course aimed to arm students with practical skills and knowledge about end-of-life care.
"It's really about opening up the conversation around death and helping someone be a friend or a carer to a person who might be at the end-of-life," Ms Reilly said.
"It's designed for anyone who might have a connection with someone who is dying, whether it be family, friends or someone who volunteers at a palliative care unit.
"The truth is we are all going to die and it's healthy to be able to talk about it."
Ms Reilly said the course asked students to examine their own beliefs and values around death and what is meant by a "good death", as well as looking at the concept of "healing spaces".
Dr Barbato helped write the TAFE NSW course and said he hoped it would further empower locals to make decisions about end-of-life care for themselves and their loved ones.
"The aim is to encourage family to become more involved in caring for those living with a serious illness and not rely solely on professional care givers," Dr Barbato said.
"We have found that by providing people with knowledge and skills about end-of-life care, they are more comfortable advocating for themselves or family about how and where they die.
"TAFE is the ideal organisation to host this course as it will make it more accessible to people at the coalface."
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