Creating an End of Life Care Plan
An end of life care plan is something you might consider putting in place for yourself or a loved one who might have a terminal illness or is coming to the end of their natural life. The aim of an end of life care plan is to set out your wishes for care in the future. Advanced care planning is usually something you would do if you expect your health to get worse, perhaps to the point where you will be unable to make decisions for yourself. There are several steps you can take to create an end of life care plan.
The Benefits of Creating a Plan
If you are considering carrying out advanced planning, understanding the benefits of doing so will help you decide if it’s the right choice. Planning ahead for the end of your life helps everyone to be better prepared, both practically and emotionally. It helps your family and loved ones by letting them know your wishes. When you set out your care plan, it gives you an opportunity to discuss what you want and the reasons you want it with your loved ones. It also helps to give you some reassurance that you will receive the care you want, even when you may not be able to ask for it.
One way that you can start to create an end of life plan is to write an advanced statement. This is when you write down your wishes and preferences for your care in the future. It can include things like which care setting you would prefer, details of how you would like to be cared for or preferences of how you like to do things in daily life, and even how you would like your religious beliefs to be included in your care. An advanced statement isn’t a legal document, but it’s useful to let people know about how you want to receive care.
Legal Options – Advanced Decisions and Power of Attorney
There are also legal processes you can use to ensure your wishes are carried out in the future. For example, you can create an advanced decision to refuse treatment. This is a decision that you can make to refuse a specific type of treatment so that you can ensure you don’t receive it if you’re unable to refuse in the future. This might include life-sustaining treatment, such as ventilation. You can choose to refuse a treatment in some situations, but allow it in others. An advanced decision needs to be written down, and signed by you and a witness. Another option is to appoint someone to make decisions about your care by giving them lasting power of attorney.
If you are looking for end of life care options now or you want to make some decisions for your care in the future, you need to know what’s available. There are both residential care options, like those provided by St Matthews Healthcare, and possibilities for receiving care at home. There are many specific types of care and treatment you can explore so that you can create an end of life care plan from an informed position. You can discuss these options with a doctor, nurse, social worker or other professional, or do your own research.
Creating an end of life care plan gives you control over how you will receive care. It puts the decisions in your hands so you can choose what’s best for you.