Led by national charity, Hospice UK, this week is an important opportunity to talk about dying, death and bereavement because we will all experience these at some point. The theme of ‘Are We Ready?’ is to encourage us all to look at the practical and emotional steps we can to take to be ready for the end of our lives.
Time is a precious thing, and even more so when you are diagnosed with a life limiting or terminal illness. Doing what is most important to you becomes a priority for how to spend your time – whether it’s to get your affairs in order, travel, tick off items on a bucket list, or spending as much time as possible with friends and family.
The Myton Hospice’s Living Well Programme was launched at Coventry Myton Hospice in 2017 and has expanded to Rugby and Warwick Myton. This outpatient programme aims to work with people who may be earlier on in their diagnosis and may not traditionally be thought of as a hospice patient.
The Living Well Programme’s Multi-disciplinary team support people to set and work towards the goals which are important to them. One of these goals may be Advanced Care Planning (ACP).
Some ‘big’ decisions – such as end of life care and funeral plans – won’t necessarily need to be a priority for everyone, or something they want to think about while they are still relatively well. For people who choose to explore this, ACP can be an opportunity to record their priorities when planning for their end of life.
Lead nurse for the Living Well Programme, Wendy Sweet, explains:
If people decide to do advanced care planning, it can make things easier on them and their loved ones in the future. If you are unable to communicate, what you have documented can be followed without people worrying about what you would have wanted.
We also have people whose priorities are to make sure their partner is receiving the emotional support they need, those who want to teach their children things, or who want to feel they can return to work while they are still well enough to. There is a lot of practical planning that will still be useful to the people around them for when they are no longer alive. We give people control and choice in setting their goals.
The Living Well team use the CASTLE website to help guide those wishing to complete advanced care planning. You can find out more about CASTLE here.
This Dying Matters Awareness Week, why not talk to your family, friends, or partner about something which would be important if you were diagnosed with a terminal or life limiting illness?
If you know somebody who may benefit from the Living Well Programme, you can talk to the team by calling 02476 841917.