In early 2019, the GWS (Global Wellness Summit) named ‘Dying Well’ as a top wellness trend for that year, explaining how everything around death was getting a positive re-think.
This included issues ranging from making the experience more humane, to exploring death as part of a mentally healthy life, to funerals and burials getting more creative and sustainable. Now, with over 14.5 million cases and over 600,000 deaths, the coronavirus has shocked the world with so much grief, sickness and death. Furthermore, it has exposed problems in our culture around dying – from how healthcare workers have almost no training in supporting the end of life, to the terrible limitations in bereavement leave (especially for hourly workers), to people of colour calling out white bias in the death industry (and even the ‘death positive’ movement). COVID-19 is also speeding up the ‘Dying Well’ trend. Companies are seeing a big spike in advance care planning. The Death Café and Death Over Dinner organisations, where people gather to have open conversations about mortality, moved online during the pandemic and are seeing a jump in participants. Technology solutions and start-ups are rushing in. Online funerals are becoming super-sophisticated, while start-ups like Lantern, designed as a single source of guidance on how to navigate a death, or Near, which connects people to end-of-life support services, including death doulas and art, sound, music and massage therapists, are seeing a big uptick in clients and are shaking up the very staid death industry. In recent months, death has become a far more intimate reality for all of us, and COVID-19 looks to accelerate the ‘death positive’ movement. GWS predicts that we will see new concepts and companies in senior care/ assisted living, end-of-life support, and memorials and funerals.
For more information about the GWS ‘Dying Well’ trend visit click here