Creating a death plan - why is it necessary?

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A death plan allows you to relieve the burden of decision making from the shoulders of those you love and creates the opportunity for a peaceful end of life.

Rather as mums-to-be are encouraged to have a birth plan to enable when possible a comfortable birth of a new life, so those facing the end of their life should have a death plan. This too should make it more likely that the end, when it comes, is properly managed.

The other benefit of having a death plan is that it will enable you to discuss your end of life openly and honestly with your closest loved ones, your carers, your GP and medical specialists, and if appropriate a minister of faith. Death is a part of life, and we all deserve a good death, and to be treated with respect, honesty and love.

How to structure your Death Plan

This is the death plan of ……..................................

I wish …….................................. to be responsible, if possible, for carrying out the wishes contained in this plan, to enable me to have the death I want. (Note, this person should be a close family member or friend with whom you have discussed your death plan and who has agreed to take on the considerable responsibility of carrying out the wishes contained in the plan).

What I want to know about my terminal state. (Note, discuss with your doctor and carers the state of your illness, the possible length of life left, how your medical condition(s) will be managed.);

This is the treatment I want when dying. (Note, discuss with your doctor and carers the treatment you want (and don’t want) and who should administer it);

This is where I want to die, (Note, while your medical condition may make it inevitable that you die in hospital, you may also be able to be taken somewhere of your choosing, so consider your home, or that of a home of a loved one, or a place that is special for you);

This is who I want to be with me when I die;

This is what I want to experience leading to my death;

What I want to see. (Note, ask your loved ones to bring photographs of close relations, friends, places that hold special memories for you. Think also of favourite works of art that will give you special pleasure);

What I want to hear. (Note, think of the solace and pleasure particular pieces of music, hymns, poems and readings will give you);

What I want to smell. (Note, why not have scented oils and candles to make your final place as enjoyable as possible);

What I want to feel. (Note, would you like to have your hand held, or to be massaged or caressed in your final moments?);

I want to taste. (Note, why not enjoy, if possible, excellent food and drink in your final days);

I want to look like. (Note, you may consider it important to be well dressed, and nicely made up, as the final hours approach, to go out ‘in style’);

I want to be free of worries. (Note, ensure that everything possible has been sorted out before you die, so you can have a calm state of mind. Discuss this with a close relative or friend as soon as possible when you realise the end is fairly close).

Name: ……..................................

Signature: ……..................................

Date: ……..................................

Witnessed by: ……..................................

Signature: ……..................................

 

Writing a death plan

Writing a death plan

A death plan allows you to relieve the burden of decision making from the shoulders of those you love and creates the opportunity for a peaceful end of life.

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