An A-Z of personal choices and practical preparations to facilitate end of life support.
Making decisions is a part of everyday life. This includes making difficult choices such as: What job will I take?, Will I marry?, Will we have children?, When should I retire?, How do I want to spend my final days?, How do I want to be cared for? What would happen if you became suddenly ill and could no longer communicate with your family? Would they know how you prefer to be cared for? Would someone know where your important paperwork is? Would they know what payments to stop? Which friends would you like contacted and what is the best way to reach them?
Thinking about these issues and having discussions about them long before it is necessary is really helpful to you, your family and your caregivers. It reduces your stress and the stress of everyone involved in supporting you. This is even more essential if your family and significant people live far away.
We have produced three resources to prompt your thinking about your end of life support and assist you to create a personal record either electronic, hard copy, or a mixture of both to document your choices:
Each of the resources is divided into the same 5 sections:
Section 1: My Personal Contacts
Record the contact details of your next of kin, family, friends, carers, health professionals, and other service providers that support your care, and any people you may want to inform in the event of a serious illness/accident, or death.
Section 2: My Personal Administration
Documents the information required for your personal administration. This could include: regular bills, assets, debts, charities, subscriptions, memberships, social media accounts, etc. Collate the information in one place to make it easier for someone supporting you to administer your affairs and keep things going while you are seriously unwell, or cancel them after you die.
Section 3: My Health
Record how you manage your health and your medical care plans so your workers and carers can effectively support you and care for you.
Section 4: My Care
Note your personal preferences about how you want to be supported and cared for if/when the need arises. This information will help family, carers and support workers know your choices when you are unable to explain them. It clarifies your routines, and your directions, making it more likely that your support will be effective. It also means that you don’t have to keep restating your preferences as new workers come in and out of your life.
Section 5: My Death
Document your wishes regarding the final stages of dying. Collate information for use with your death certificate, death notice (obituary), and/or eulogy. Provide information on religious or cultural rituals and remembrances you have created. Include personal arrangements you have already made such as pre-paid funeral plans.
The guide book is a valuable help to show you how to use the worksheets. It will help you initiate the conversations with family, and provides examples of how you can use the A-Z indexes and worksheets. We recommend you use the guide book to assist you when completing your worksheets. The book is available from Baptist Care SA for $15 plus postage and handling.
Click here to order My Choices…
Each of the five sections has an A-Z index to prompt your thinking regarding the relevance and importance of each topic for your end of life support. The indexes will help you reflect on what you value, so you can describe your wishes and preferences more accurately when you document them. You can use the worksheets or another system such as a binder with an A-Z index, or an indexed notebook to document your choices.
Click here to download full A-Z Indexes now!
For individual indexes see the ‘A-Z Indexes’, click here.