How to plan for the future

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Have you considered how you would like to be looked after in the future?

i. Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) (for both health and finance)

These are legal documents by which you give someone else (the Attorney) the power to act on your behalf and in your name when you are no longer able to make decisions yourself.  This would make it easier for your support network to meet your needs if you are not able to do so yourself.  It can be drawn up at any time while you have capacity to do this, but it has no legal standing until it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.  This can be completed at the Office of the Public Guardian – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) . A solicitor can help with the process if required.

ii. Wills

Even if you don’t have much to leave, it is important that what you do have is left to those you care about. If you do not make a will, your spouse will be the main beneficiary unless stated otherwise. If you are not married to your partner, they will not automatically be a beneficiary, so you need to make arrangements in advance. This is also the case with other statuses. The absence of a will causes lengthy delays, so organise things in advance.

iii. Completing a ReSPECT (Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment) form

Will ensure your wishes are recorded if you are not able to make decisions in an emergency. Your local health care provider will complete this with you.

iv. A ‘This is me’ passport

Can be used to record details about a person living with dementia who can’t easily share information about themselves. This can help health and social care professionals better understand the person they are supporting and help them to deliver the appropriate care. Make sure that a trusted person, such as the executor of your will, knows who you bank with and where any medical or life insurance policies are held.

v. Advance care planning

Advance care planning is very important and will help you make decisions about your health and care in case you become very ill. This can be recorded on the My Care Choices Register, an electronic record of a person’s decision about the kind of care they wish to receive in the future if they were ill or coming to the end of their life.

vi. Next of kin

Consider where you might leave next of kin details in your home, should they need to be contacted by a health or care professional on your behalf

vii. End of life support and what to do after someone dies

End of life support – During a terminal illness, or approaching the end of life, it may be a good idea to express future wishes and make plans in advance for the care needed in the future. Planning ahead in this way is sometimes called ‘advance care planning’. It involves thinking and talking about an individual’s wishes for how they are cared for in the final months of life. Planning for this as early as possible enables care to be delivered in ways that respect the wishes of people and their families. End of life care helps us to live as well as possible until death and to die with dignity. It also includes support for family or carers. Palliative care helps to manage pain and make things as comfortable as possible, enabling people to remain in their own home for as long as they wish. Many healthcare professionals can be involved in providing end of life care and most hospitals have special palliative care teams that coordinate all these services. When end of life care begins depends on specific needs and will continue for as long as required. It may last a few days or for months or years. local Hospices can offer support and advice to those at the end of their life and their family and loved ones.

viii. What to do after someone dies

There are a number of practical things to be done following a death. www.gov.uk/when-someone-dies provides information on what you need to do. If you can, ask a family member or friend to help.

  • A doctor will need to issue a death certificate.
  • You should appoint a funeral director to make the arrangements. You may be able to claim help with funeral expenses.
  • You must register the death within five days. You need to take the death certificate with you.
  • Tell family members, friends and colleagues.
  • There may be organisations to notify and the Government’s ‘Tell Us Once Service’ can help with this

ix. Bereavement

People are affected by bereavement in many different ways and it can take time to adjust. However, you might need help if you are not coping or are feeling depressed. For some, the best way to cope is to discuss feelings with family or friends. If this doesn’t work for you, you can always contact local bereavement services, information can be found in the contacts list, who can offer friendly help and support
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