End of life

Planning for the Future

Why plan ahead?

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Benjamin Franklin (one of the founding fathers of USA) 1789

Understandably most people do not wish to contemplate death or any associated issues, nor do people naturally want to consider long term incapacitating illness such as dementia. Planning for the future is something we can all struggle with but a plan does not need to be complicated and is so much easier to do when we are well. A plan for the future can help remove concerns about the future.

Why plan ahead – some key questions

The NHS website poses some important questions
Would your partner or family know:

  • about the type of care, you would like to receive or where you would like to die
  • if you would want to be admitted to hospital or resuscitated (helped to start breathing again, if you stop)
  • if you want to refuse any types of treatment

These might not be easy topics to think about but, by discussing your wishes with your family, you could be saving them from having to help doctors make difficult decisions later on without knowing what you would have wanted.”
“Why plan ahead?” NHS choices website. Retrieved 14 February 2023.

Why plan ahead – Making things easier for your family and friends

As Marie Curie suggest
“Whatever stage you’re at in your life, it can be useful to plan for the future. Planning ahead can help make sure that other people know what you want and may make it more likely that your wishes will be understood and followed in the future. It can also give you more control over your future treatment and care. And it can make things easier for your family and friends, as they’ll know what you want.”
“Getting started with planning ahead.” Marie Curie website. Retrieved 14 February 2023.

The NHS expand on why it is worth planning ahead
Why plan ahead? – NHS

From Compassion in Dying
Why plan ahead? – Compassion in Dying

Help making some plans

There are a number of sources of information which can help with planning ahead. These cover the various plans you can consider (including the difference between advance statements and advance decisions), and some simple steps you can start with, in some cases decades before death. These sources are included below:

From Alzeihmer’s society
If you scroll down the page to the section on planning ahead with dementia there is a very good summary of the difference between an advance decision and an advance statement. This applies to all future planning not just dementia. Dementia, advance decisions and advance statements | Alzheimer’s Society

From Dying Matters
The Dying Matters “Planning Ahead” Tool is a good place to start as it poses some of the common questions you may want to consider Planning Ahead: What matters most to you | Welcome

From the NHS

From Age UK

Marie Curie provide a planning ahead checklist which covers areas beyond health care.
Getting started with planning ahead

From Patient info
End of life care – What is an advance decision in end of life care? End of Life Care | Patient

Lasting power of attorney

There is further information on lasting power of attorney, see under

Support for carers

From Carers UK
End of life planning | Carers UK

Completing advanced statements and decisions

Advance statement forms and helpline

From Compassion in Dying
Advance statement and helpline (All free) Advance statement – Compassion in Dying

From Dying Matters
Fill in online – provides your answers to some key questions you can print off   Planning Ahead: What matters most to you | Welcome

Advance Decision form and helpline

From Compassion in Dying
Advance decision (living will) form and helpline (All free)  Living will (advance decision) – Compassion in Dying

Further links to pages on this website to help with end of life

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