#1 The Inspiration Behind Carked It!: Exploring How To Have A Good Death

In a world where serious discussions about end-of-life matters are often uncomfortable, The Ageing Revolution has created Carked It! to challenge societal norms and redefine how we approach conversations about dying and death. 

Carked It! has been codesigned and partially funded by the Good Death Impact Network, a project supported by The Australian Centre for Social Innovation  (TACSI) through the Wicking Trust.

The Good Death Impact Network

The Good Death Impact Network is a supportive community of like and different-minded people working to improve all things that affect death and dying. Driven by the belief that all Australians and their loved ones deserve the best possible end-of-life experience: a peaceful and connected death in a place of their choosing and free of pain.

The Ageing Revolution founders Leonie and Simon joined the network in 2019 as part of what was then known as the End of Life Regional Innovators Network. TACSI facilitated an online gathering of people interested in improving death and dying in Australia. From GPs to palliative care specialists to death doulas and more, the network provided a space to come together and create change. 

The concept at the heart of the End of Life Impact Network is to connect people and support them to create change in new and different ways. Practically speaking, this looks like:

  • Strengthening interconnectedness and alignment
  • Seeing and acting with the wisdom of many perspectives
  • Organising in ways that don’t reinforce business-as-usual
  • Working with conflicting views in generative ways. 

These network activities create trusting relationships, fertile soil for new ideas, opportunities for independent and collaborative action and a legitimate platform to influence broader change.

What’s a Good Death?

Often considered morbid or taboo, death and dying are not popular topics. As a society, Australia sweeps conversations about death under the rug, leading to a raft of unfortunate, often preventable, experiences for people and their loved ones at the end of their lives.

The definition and measurement of what a good outcome means at the end of life is not agreed across the health system. Across the stakeholders we’ve been on this journey alongside, we’ve heard that a good outcome in death and dying comprises the following key elements:

A good death mind map taken from TACSI website

(The above section and image are from the TACSI website www.tacsi.org.au/our-work/hero-initiative/end-of-life)

Creation of Carked It!

Carked It! was born from the network and its catalysing effects. A number of future goals for the network are related to increased awareness about what creates a good death and the improvement of death literacy. Over a period of two years, the game was designed, tested, re-designed and re-tested with members of the network across Australia, all of whom voted to resource the creation of the game. 

By infusing elements of fun and play into the concept of discussing end-of-life matters, Carked It! breaks down barriers and encourages individuals to confront their feelings and thoughts surrounding mortality. This innovative approach to addressing a sensitive topic is a testament to the power of creative thinking and collaboration. Carked It! gets people talking about death in a fun and safe way.

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