We might not all be as good at mind reading as I wish I was, so unless you have told those closest to you, how will they know what really matters to you when you couldn’t otherwise tell them?
Dying or the process of dying is often shunned as a tapu or off limits topic. But the truth is, we are all going to die some day. And when that happens, don’t you want your family to be reassured by the fact they know exactly what your wishes are for that final stage of life?
One of the reasons we have found it is often so hard to discuss death, particularly with those who are living with a chronic health illness, is the perception that by discussing it, you are allowing it in. Ellen Fisher from the Bay of Plenty District Health Board reassured me, she has been discussing death and the process of dying for the best part of the year and she is still going strong!
Ellen is the new Future Care Planning Implementation Manager for the Bay of Plenty area and she want’s people to start having “THAT” conversation with their whanau and loved ones. When is the best time to have this conversation? Right now. Do it BEFORE you cannot. Regardless of your age, your stage in life or your health. Give yourself and your whanau the piece of mind that should you be unable to tell them what you want, they already know.
Ellen has given us several plan’s and guides to help you write down your Future Care Plan. Upon completion of the plan, discuss it with your whanau, give to your health care team (if applicable) and give one to your GP for them to pass on to the District Health Board. Therefore, should you end up in hospital, they will have your plan on file and know exactly what your wishes are. Revise your plan as often as you like and simply repeat the discussion and handing over process so that everyone is aware of your plan.
We have several guides and plans in clinic to help get you started. Please feel free to talk to one of us about your Future Care Plan and how you can start THAT conversation with your whanau.