Advanced Care Planning (Planning Ahead)

In life we prepare for many things – birth, education, marriage and retirement. We may also wish to prepare for a time of failing health and approaching end of life.

This is called planning ahead or advance care planning. It covers any decision that people wish to make in advance of a change or deterioration in their health. It can include thoughts and wishes about future care, medical care and management, personal wishes and anything that people would want their family or carers to know if they are ever in a situation where they are unable to say for themselves.

Planning ahead is voluntary and decisions need not be made all in one go it might be just about making a start. Furthermore if decisions are made, people can change their minds about these at any time.

It can be difficult to discuss such issues, but for some people and families, this may be very important. Having a clear sense of someone’s wishes and doing as much as possible to plan ahead can give someone the freedom to get on with living now.

Medical, nursing and care teams are able to give guidance and advice; should you wish to talk this through with your doctor or nurse, do make an appointment.

The following resources and websites may be helpful.

Useful Websites

Advance decisions to refuse treatment

Planning ahead –online tool

Understanding CPR decisions (i.e. decisions whether or not to resuscitate)

Making decisions and wishes in advance 

Making a Lasting power of Attorney

Making wills  – Government advice
Citizens’ Advice Bureau
Age UK advice

Treatment escalation plans eg. ReSPECT

Useful Literature

The following brochures may prove helpful. They are designed as leaflets, to be printed on double-sided A4 paper and then folded in half:

Planning Ahead A Guide v2
Planning Ahead My Wishes v2