Advanced Care Planning
What is Advanced Care Planning?
“I want to know for myself”
Advanced care Planning is a process whereby individuals plan ahead for a future deterioration in health, so that others can act in your best interests if you ever find you are unable to speak for yourself. This is a voluntary process. Advanced care planning is advisable for anyone, but we would particularly recommend it for those with a progressive life-limiting medical condition. It is best to do this at a time when you are relatively well, so you can best consider the options and have relevant conversations with your loved ones regarding your wishes. Remember, simply thinking and talking about something doesn’t make it happen! It is best to consider this process like an insurance policy – you may not need it, but if you do it can be very helpful.
Why should I consider Advanced Care Planning?
We recognise that living with chronic and life limiting conditions can leave people feeling powerless as though the condition controls them. We also recognise that when an individual becomes unwell, sometimes decisions need to be made quickly and individuals may at that time feel overwhelmed or too poorly to express their preferences for care. This is why considering potential decisions ahead of time allows for you to express and document what you would want to happen to you in certain circumstances. From years of experience of looking after patients with your condition, we have seen the empowering effect advanced care planning can have on an individual. A process of giving back a degree of control about what does or doesn’t happen to an individual if they become unwell.
What things should be considered?
Considerations around your health care:
• Where you would like to be cared for particularly if health professionals feel you may be dying?
• Cardiopulmonary resuscitation – a separate leaflet that covers this in more detail is available at your request
• Preferences around emergency care?
- For those who have very poor health or are frail, they may recognise hospital admissions do not offer a guarantee to get them better if they become more unwell, and would prioritise comfort by choosing to stay at home in certain circumstances.
During the course of 2020/2021 in North Lincolnshire we will be beginning to use a national document to both record cardiopulmonary resuscitation decisions and a summary decision about emergency care. This document is called a ReSPECT form. During the transition, you may see healthcare professionals using either this or existing documents. Beyond this time, only ReSPECT documents will be completed.
• Advanced Decisions to Refuse Treatment
• Power of Attorney
- If you would like more information about either of the above items, Lindsey Lodge Hospice has some additional leaflets that explain these in more detail
• Writing a will
• Funeral planning
• Organ donation or donation of body to science
- If you would like more information on this, please contact your healthcare provider
The above lists are not exhaustive and you may have some other personal circumstances to consider.
I have considered my wishes, what should I do now?
We would recommend that you discuss these with your loved ones or those close to you.
In addition we would recommend you put something in writing. My Future Care Plan is a locally developed document for people to complete about their wishes and is available on request or can be downloaded from the hospice website. Once completed, we suggest you offer a copy to health providers and you advise your loved ones where the original is kept should it be needed in the future.
In addition we suggest you discuss with your health provider (e.g. GP, community nurse, hospital doctors, hospice team) those considerations regards your health. With your permission we wish to share those wishes in our electronic records so they are available to out-of-hours teams in the event of emergencies. For Do Not Attempt Resuscitation decisions, additional paperwork would need to be completed by your health provider and given to you to keep at home.
I am not sure I want to do this or I have further questions…
If you do not feel it is the right time for you to consider advanced care planning, that is okay. This is a voluntary process and not everyone chooses to do it. Simply keep this information handy for some time in the future when you do feel ready.
If you wish to discuss any of the issues raised or you have further questions, then do contact your healthcare provider (e.g. GP, community nurse, hospital doctors, hospice team)