A plan for your end-of-life care will help to ensure you receive the care that you would like at this time.
It is a good idea to discuss details about your end-of-life care with your health care team, especially any worries that you may have. For example, you may be concerned about particular symptoms and how they can be managed. Your health care professional (eg your nurse or doctor) can help develop a plan for managing care at the very end of life. It can outline your wishes. The plan can also document any special symptom needs and provide important contact details. If you also involve your family carers in these discussions, this will help ensure that their needs are considered.
Your plan needs to:
- be kept up to date
- be known about and understood by your family and all those providing care
- identify your care preferences
- identify any spiritual or religious preferences
- be very clear about how your family can make arrangements that will meet your wishes after you have died (what to do and whom to contact).
You may have many questions about end-of-life care and the best way to provide this. It is best to make a list of questions for the health care professional to answer. You will probably need to know:
- contact details of staff or other support available after hours
- details of any equipment that might be needed, such as special mattresses or oxygen, and information about how to obtain it, especially after hours
- things that you need to do or of which you would like to be aware.
Knowing that you have a plan and that support is available can make a great deal of difference at this time.