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by | Monday, May 10th, 2021 | News

This Dying Matters Week, (10-16 May) Sharon King, Livewell Southwest’s Palliative and End of Life Organisation Lead is encouraging people to think whether you’re in a good place to die and the support available.

End of life care is something many professionals across Livewell encounter and Sharon has been working hard to empower colleagues to compassionately support those reaching the end of their life and their loved ones.

This week, we are proud to share that we have worked with partner organisations to develop an Advanced Care Plan (ACP) discussion document to support our staff caring for individuals who might be approaching the end of their life, to document their wishes.

In this blog, Sharon explains the importance of being in a good place to die.

Are you in a good place to die?

We all plan for the birth of a baby, but how many of us plan for the end of our life?

How many of us tell our family what we want?

Have you?

Where people die is changing. More people than ever are dying at home.

There is no right or wrong place to die; it will be different for everyone. But it is important for families to think about it, to talk about it and to plan for it.

We should all have discussions with the people that we love, no matter how old or young we are, about what our wishes are if we were to have a catastrophic accident or lose capacity or have a life limiting disease.

We should consider these discussions now, not ‘’later’’; later may be too late!

If we were more proactive in these discussions, much the same as planning for a birth, then they would be less distressing for people and their loved ones.

To help facilitate early conversations and minimise distress to loved ones when a person is ill or dying, Livewell have worked with our partner organisations to develop an Advance Care Plan (ACP) discussion document.

This document allows our staff to work with individuals to gradually build up a picture about what is important to them and to put together a plan which can be shared with anyone relevant as to what that individual’s wishes are as they approach the end of life.

The aim of Advanced Care Planning is to encourage people to have discussions so that professionals can gain an understanding of and record an individual’s specific preferences, priorities and needs should the time come that they are no longer able to make their wishes known. It helps us to focus on what matters to you and ensure your wishes are respected.

It includes things such as personal information, any wishes or fears, funeral plans, details of who that induvial might want involved in their care decisions and their preferred place of care/death and our document has been designed around real end of life experiences.

If you’d like to find out more about Advanced Care Plan documents and perhaps create your own, there are some available online, including from the Gold Standard Framework and Macmillan.

Help make sure you’re in a good place to die by taking part in #DyingMattersWeek

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