Planning ahead for your future care: A guide to talking about it, planning for it and recording your wishes.

Why should I plan for my future care?

Regardless of our current health and wellbeing, we can all benefit from being prepared for some of the choices that may face us in the future. There may become a time when we are unable to communicate what we would like to happen to us, either due to illness, an accident or mental incapacity. If we record and share our wishes in advance, we are more likely to get the care we want.

Feedback from people we have supported through this process, highlight the benefits some have found from going through the planning ahead process:

It was something I always meant to do but never found the time. Now I’ve got things in place I feel a weight has lifted and I can move on.

It was quite an emotional process but so valuable. I have talked to my GP and feel confident that all the relevant people now know how I’d like to spend the time I have left and how I want to be looked after.

Here actor Greg Wise explains why he has planned for his future care:

Play

Helpful resources

Universal Care Plan for London

The Universal Care Plan is an NHS service that enables every Londoner to have their care and support wishes digitally shared with healthcare professionals across the capital.

A care plan is created following a conversation between a healthcare professional (such as a doctor or nurse) and the person in their care. Throughout the conversation, the healthcare professional will listen, understand and make notes on:

  • What is important to the person in their day-to-day life
  • Their preferences or wishes about their care
  • What support they need and who is best placed to provide this
  • Information about others who may be involved in that person’s care, such as relatives

The care plan is then created following this conversation using the Universal Care Plan. As soon as information is saved on the plan, it is visible to all health and care services who use it. This includes the London Ambulance Service, 111 and Out of Hours GP services who may see the person in an emergency.

 

ReSPECT

For those living outside the London area there is a process known as ReSPECT .  ReSPECT stands for Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment. The ReSPECT process creates a personalised recommendation for your clinical care in emergency situations where you are not able to make decisions or express your wishes.

The plan is created between you and your health professionals.  Once you have created the plan (it is an easily recognisable purple form), it stays with you so it is available to health professionals called to help you in an emergency  such as ambulance crews, out-of-hours doctors, and hospital staff.

For more information please visit the ReSPECT website or mention it to your GP if you would like to create a ReSPECT form.

Princess Alice Hospice – Planning Ahead Document for recording your wishes

Some people find it useful to work on their own paper Planning Ahead document either as preparation for completing MyCMC or a  ReSPECT form, or as a standalone document. There are lots of different forms available online to record your wishes but Princess Alice Hospice has created a form in conjunction with a number of organisations.

Having difficult conversations/starting conversations

Compassion in Dying – Starting the conversation guide

Organisation that provides information to help prepare for the end of life. Has some great information booklets which can be downloaded.

https://compassionindying.org.uk/library/starting-the-conversation/

Marie Curie Talkabout

The Marie Curie magazine that aims to support and inspire conversations about dying, death and grief. Includes some interesting articles around preparing for end of life and how to talk about it.

www.mariecurie.org.uk/talkabout

End of life planning

NHS Choices

Information on end of life care, advanced statements and advanced decisions

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/end-of-life-care/

Compassion in Dying

Provide information to help prepare for the end of life and specialise in supporting people to make Advance Decisions.  Their free MyDecisions website enables recording of wishes.

https://compassionindying.org.uk/making-decisions-and-planning-your-care/

Dying Matters

Coalition of members which aims to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement and to make plans for the end of life.

https://www.dyingmatters.org/overview/need-support

Age UK

National charity, with local services, supporting older people.  Free information guides and factsheets are available, including those on end of life planning.

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/services/information-advice/guides-and-factsheets/

Independent Age

Free advice and factsheets for older people which include ‘Planning for the End of Life’ and ‘Managing my affairs if I become ill’.

https://www.independentage.org/information/advice-guides-factsheets-leaflets

Funeral planning

The National Association of Funeral Directors https://nafd.org.uk/ and the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors https://saif.org.uk/  can help with finding a local funeral director.

Funeral celebrants can assist with planning and conducting a funeral https://funeralcelebrants.org.uk/

Legal and financial

Law Society

The independent professional body for solicitors has a search facility to find a solicitor in your area for services such as will writing and Lasting Power of Attorney.

https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

Solicitors for the Elderly

A national member organisation for lawyers specialising in working with older or vulnerable clients.

https://sfe.legal/who-are-sfe/

Free Will Services

Many charities and some member organisations have will writing services for simple wills.  Free Wills Month for those over the age of 55 is held from time to time and involves charities and solicitors.

https://freewillsmonth.org.uk/

SOLLA

Society of accredited financial advisers who can advise on financial planning in later life.

https://societyoflaterlifeadvisers.co.uk/About

Government Guidance on Lasting Power of Attorney

Information on making, registering and ending Lasting Power of Attorney.

www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney

Other organisations supporting people approaching end of life

Jigsaw South East

Supports bereaved children and their families and those affected by a family member with a life limiting illness

www.jigsawsoutheast.org.uk/

Brigitte Trust

Emotional and practical support for those facing life threatening illness in the Surrey area.

www.brigittetrust.org/

Doulas

An End of Life Doula is someone who can support a person with a life limiting illness and their loved ones.

https://eol-doula.uk/what-is-an-end-of-life-doula/