Advance Care Planning

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Advance care planning is a delicate and sensitive topic that requires thoughtful consideration and careful preparation.  Death is something many of us find difficult to talk about so we aren’t quite sure where to start.

However, even though it may be something we don’t want to think about, a life event may cause us to reflect on what our own wishes will be when the time arises.

Whilst it can be incredibly difficult to think and talk about, planning is an important process that can provide a sense of comfort and peace of mind for both individuals and their loved ones.  By taking the time to think ahead, individuals can ensure that their wishes are respected and that their loved ones are not left with difficult decisions during an already challenging time.

FOP Friends is not able to offer advice on this topic but we have gathered together details of some organisations who may be able to offer information and guidance to assist you in your decision making, and to help you begin conversations with those you love.  You may also find that your local healthcare professional can signpost you to a specialist nurse who can assist you and your family.

If you would like to get a printed copy of any of the resources on these websites to discuss with your family and friends, FOP specialist, GP, or healthcare professional, please contact FOP Friends and we will be happy to send you printed copies.

Compassion in Dying

Compassion in Dying is an organisation dedicated to supporting and helping people to make and control their own end-of-life decisions.

There is a wealth of information to help people begin to plan and record their wishes.  They believe that a good life should include a good death.  They have developed their service by listening to the voices of those they have supported.

They cover all the key topics and explain things in an honest and accessible way.  Resources are available and free to download. There is also a telephone service and they can help people to record their wishes online.

Download a Planning Ahead guide here: Planning Ahead

Order a living will (advance decision) pack here: Living Will

Contact their nurse-led information helpline here: Nurse Team

ReSPECT from the Resuscitation Council

The ReSPECT process creates personalised recommendations for a person’s clinical care and treatment in a future emergency in which they are unable to make or express choices.

These recommendations are created through conversations between a person, their families, and their health and care professionals to understand what matters to them and what is realistic in terms of their care and treatment.

The ReSPECT website has a range of resources for patients, families, caregivers and healthcare professionals.

The ReSPECT process is increasingly being adopted within health and care communities around the UK.

NHS: End of Life Care

The NHS has information regarding end of life care.  Their pages cover a range of topics and are aimed at people who are approaching the end of their life.  Some parts of it may be helpful to those who are caring for someone who is dying.  There is also information for people who want to plan for their own end of life care.

It covers practical topics and information about legal considerations such as lasing power of attorney.

There is also information about how to look after your wellbeing.

What is end of life care?

Planning ahead

Your wellbeing

Age UK

Age UK offers a range of information about planning for the end of life.  This includes writing a Power of Attorney, making a will, financial advice, as well as guidance on writing a living will (advance decisions).

They have produced a helpful guide: Advance decisions, advance statements and living wills, which can be downloaded for free.

Hospice UK

Hospice UK have a range of resources available for free download to support you with tough conversations with friends and family.

They have a series of leaflets to help people deal with different aspects of death, dying and bereavement.

There are also resources and book suggestions to help families talk to children about dying.

Hospice UK has developed a ‘Planning Ahead‘ tool to help guide people through the process and think about their choices ahead of time.  You can launch the tool here: Planning Ahead.

Sue Ryder

Sue Ryder is a charity which provides palliative, neurological and bereavement support.  They are there for patients but also for those when they have lost someone close.  They are there when it matters.

They have a range of resources to help people think about and write an advance statement which sets out their wishes, beliefs, values and preferences about their future care.  You can read more here: Advance Care Plan

They have a useful guide to help you talk about death and dying: A Better Death.  You can download it here.

They also have an online Grief Guide which offers information, advice and resources to support a person throughout their grief.  There are resources for partners, families and friends.  You can access the webpage here: Support and Advice

They offer an online bereavement counselling service for those who are over 18 and have been bereaved for over two months.  This is a free service and is offer via professional video counselling to anyone living in the UK.