End of Life
We can find it difficult to talk openly about death and dying and receiving the news that someone we care for is nearing the end of their life can be difficult and distressing. Help and support is available from a range of sources including those involved in providing care for the person that you care for whether their life ends at home, in a hospital, hospice or care home. It is also important that the needs of the carer is recognised and that appropriate support is available for both the carer and cared for.
The NHS has produced a guide giving information about end of life care which you might find useful to look at www.nhs.uk/conditions/end-of-life-care/
Dying Matters is a coalition of individual and organisational members across England and Wales, which aims to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to make plans for the end of life. Dying Matters and the National Association of Funeral Directors have produced My Funeral Wishes. It's a simple form which lets you create a personal funeral plan that reflects you as an individual. www.dyingmatters.org/page/my-funeral-wishes
There are things you can do to make sure others know which medical treatment(s) you would want to refuse and how you would like to be cared for, should a time come when you cannot make or communicate these decisions yourself. Preparing an advance decision to refuse treatment (often called an advance decision or a ‘living will’) and an advance statement are two things you can do.
Advance Statement gives us an opportunity to us to express anything that is important to us about how we would like to be cared for and where we would prefer to die if we are no longer able to do that ourselves. More information can be found here >>
Advance Decision is a decision that you can make now to refuse a specific type of treatment at some point in the future and will only be used at the time you lose the ability to make your own decisions about your treatment. This decision must be written, signed and witnessed. More information can be found here >>
Other organisations who can provide information, advice and support are:
Marie Curie who produce a guide to end of life services and also have a telephone support line - 0800 090 2309. Click here for more information.
Macmillan also provides a support line - 0808 808 00 00 8am-8pm and information about end of life support