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Posts Tagged ‘Planning a good death’

As a society we do not discuss death and dying openly. Today I delivered training on Person Centred Support and part of this included supporting individuals to plan for their future well-being and the importance of supporting an individual to plan for their end of life care where appropriate.

Here is an extract:

Being person-centred [1]

The national End of Life Care Strategy for England defines, a good death‟

as:

o being treated as an individual, with dignity and respect

o being without pain and other symptoms

o being in familiar surroundings

o being in the company of close family and/or friends.

We plan our life, why not plan our death?

We want a good death. We want …

  • Advance care planning[2] drawn up, which specifies my wishes as the end of my life approaches
  • Information about the dying process and the services available
  • To choose where to die, hospice, hospital or home [help is immediate in hospice and hospital]
  • Family and friends around us
  • Music of our choice playing in the background
  • Scented candles burning
  • Staff that have been trained so they can talk to us about our wishes and choices at the end of life
  • Competent staff, who treat us with dignity and respect [even if we appear to be unconscious]
  • Staff who speak to us and not down to us
  • To ensure that equipment such as syringe drivers and palliative care kits are available [if required]
  • A personal alarm if any of us become frail
  • Technology  so we can Skype my doctor, nurse etc. if we have any worries.

Decisions about my funeral:

Buried or cremated? Where do we want to be buried or cremated? If cremated where do we want my ashes scattered?

Do we want flowers, readings, music at our funerals?

What clothes do we want be dressed in. What jewellery and/or make up do we want to wear?

Decisions for after funeral:

A wake, or a celebration? People to be happy not sad.

After the funeral, drink, food, a celebration, memorial?

How we would like to be remembered, a plaque on a bench, a rose tree, a trust set up in my name?

Making a Will:

Some felt that if their late relatives had made a Will this would have made things a lot easier at the time of losing a loved one. Without the Will there had been difficulties on knowing what possessions the late relative wanted to give to whom.

References

[1] Department of Health (2008), End of Life Care Strategy: Promoting high quality care for all adults at the end of life‟, London: Department of Health https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/end-of-life-care-strategy-promoting-high-quality-care-for-adults-at-the-end-of-their-life

[2] Advance Care Planning

http://www.endoflifecare.nhs.uk/assets/downloads/pubs_Advance_Care_Planning_guide.pdf

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