Knowing what to expect when someone is nearing the end of their life is vitally important – both for the person who is ill and for their family and friends. Nothing can heal deep feelings of pain and loss, but having information can help to prepare for the physical and emotional changes that might be experienced.
Choices and wishes at the end of life
You may be prompted to think about these when something unexpected happens, following diagnosis of a serious illness or following the death of someone you know.
There are several ways of making people aware of your wishes concerning your care at the end of your life.
Advance Care Plan (ACP)
Developing an ACP means making people aware of your preferences when you approach the last stages of your life. The people that need to know about your ACP may include your spouse, children, friends, nursing team and GP.
An ACP allows to you to document your wishes (making things simpler for those looking after you) , including your feelings about your religious or spiritual beliefs, where you would like to be looked after and personal preferences such as having a shower rather than a bath or sleeping with a light on. Perhaps you have concerns about pets or other practical issues or concerns.
Planning your future care – this booklet gives a simple explanation about advance care planning and the different options open to you.
Advanced Care Plan - A document which helps patients and their relatives to develop a record of their choices and preferences for care at the end of life
Advance Directive to Refuse Treatment (ADRT) – previously known as a Living Will
You may wish to express a very specific view about a particular medical treatment which you do not want to have. This can be done by making an ADRT. You are advised to discuss this with a healthcare professional who is fully aware of your medical history.