This Dying Matters Week we are focusing on opening up conversations about death, dying and bereavement. The theme for this blog is about being in a good place to die physically. Our Living Well Centre Manager, Tracy Jeffery, wanted to share information and advice as to how you and your loved ones can physically plan for the end of life.
Here at the Rowans Living Well Centre we support people who are living with a life-limiting and progressive illness, regardless of diagnosis, and we extend our support to family members and friends during any stage of the illness, including bereavement.
Planning physically for the end of life is really important and our team of nurses, complementary therapists and trained volunteers can offer you guidance and support, as well as discussions on future planning.
Starting conversations about end of life care can often be difficult, however we are here to support you with these and to help you to explore any questions that may arise. These conversations can be had alone or with your loved ones, they are carried out in a very relaxed and informal way and give you the opportunity to talk about the things which are important to you, and they help you to identify your wishes and preferences. These could include:
- Having someone with you when you hear medical results
- Discussing important decisions about your care and future treatment
- Planning for your funeral
- Power of Attorney
- Making a Will
Wishes for the future
Lots of people write their wishes down regarding their future. This is not only useful for you to express your preferences, so your loved ones know what you want, it can also be used as a guide for Health Carers at a time when you no longer feel well enough to discuss your wishes.
Our team of specialist Nurses will also discuss all of the support and care that is available for you and your loved ones during your end of life journey. You may feel strongly about where you would like to be cared for at the end of life, so we work with you to discuss all of the options of home, hospital or hospice and make sure that they are all discussed in depth alongside your wishes and preferences.
Important decisions about your care
Your future care and treatment are both things you may wish to consider and discuss. Should you decide, at some point in the future, that you wish to refuse treatment, we can support you.
Your wishes will be recorded in a document called ‘Advanced Decision to Refuse Treatment’. If you are 18 and over and still capable of making decisions, this document will allow you to refuse specified medical treatment in the future when you may lack the capacity to consent or refuse treatment.
Power of Attorney
You may decide that you would like someone to make decisions for you, or to act on your behalf on a temporary or longer-term basis. If this is something you want to explore, a ‘Power of Attorney’ could be something to think about. This is a written document authorising a person to represent or act on another’s behalf in private affairs, business, or other legal matters. These legal documents can cover everyday things such as making sure your bills are being paid, to more long term plans such as your future care and assets.
Talking about your preferences and planning ahead as to when the decisions need to be made means your wishes are more likely to be known to your relevant family members, and your health care professionals.
Future planning gives you the opportunity to explore any fears or worries you may have and to be assured that these discussions will be held at your own pace with the option to change your decisions or wishes at any time.
If you have any more questions, feel free to email our Living Well Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org.