Last week I received a copy of “My Future Care”, sent by the lovely Zoe Harris, founder and CEO of My Care Matters.
“Mycarematters is a social enterprise with a mission to improve the experience of care in any care setting. We enable the whole person to be taken into account by all those caring for and interacting with them.”
I’m sure I must have met Zoe in person on our various travels around the country, but our main connection is through Twitter…
Many people, when diagnosed, like to forget about the future, some like to bury their heads in the sand and pretend it will take care of itself. Well, undoubtedly it will, be will what happens, be what YOU want to happen? Have you spoken to those closest to you about future care, about death? It happens to us all!
Well me and my daughters have, but last Sunday me and Sarah went through The handbook page by page and even we found it helpful to clarify some points, to highlight some detail we hadn’t gone through. I knew I’d had recent up to date conversation with one of them but can never remember if I’ve spoken to both, so this helped with that too.
Sarah is an nurse in Oncology so has these types of conversations with patients all the time, but for many families, they may have never spoken about anything like this so need direction, need guidance.
For those that have never had those conversations, or maybe don’t know where to start, it felt like a gentle process. A simple, straightforward, tour of everything we needed to talk about. And if you were worried about the sheer volume of information, there was a useful ‘colour coding’ to highlight what you should read if nothing else at the bottom of the Index…
There were, as I said, things in there that made me think. For example in the funeral details bit, Sarah asked where is my address book? I could also tell Sarah that I didn’t want a funeral as such and instead want a ‘straight to cremation’ with a celebration gathering once they’d received my ashes, so I could ‘be’ there 😂🤣….The image of both my parents disappearing through the curtains for cremation having stayed with me and not what I want my daughters to remember. I also want the celebration it to start at 11.55……a special time which many will understand the relevance of….or maybe just something on line at 11.55 so my daughters don’t have the hassle of organising anything🤔…mmm more thought needed me thinks…
But before we got to that conversation, we were taken through all the maize of forms that exists and which should be completed – the Will, Advanced Care Plans, Lasting Power of Attorney, Letter of Wishes and the other myriad of ‘stuff’…but it didn’t seem overwhelming. All the forms are a minefield if you have to discover them yourself, but here they were all present, in a logical order. We did think some bits started to get confusing until we realised, it was because we’d already gone through the process, we didn’t need to plan…
Yes, I was lucky, we’d had all these conversations. Many others can use them as guidance, for information and for useful reference.
The biggest advantage I can see is that it gets people talking. My daughter had to help me as I can’t write consistently legible so no one would have been able to read it! But even if you wrote it yourself and handed it to those closest to read, as a starting point, it would be invaluable.
Sarah said afterwards:
“I found the handbook very easy to follow, in a logical order and covered everything. We, as a family, have done most of the advanced planning, however, the funeral planning was especially useful for us to revisit and discuss.People in the earlier stages of planning should find this to be exceptionally informative and a prompt for useful guidance and discussion”
We plan the birth of our children in any way possible, so why not our death?
Once you’ve had these discussions, you can carry on living your life in the full knowledge that what happens in the future will be a lot smoother than if you hadn’t plucked up the courage and TALKED ..…..
But as the message on the front of the handbook says:
“Plan for Tomorrow, Live for Today”
Yes, the handbooks do cost, they aren’t free. But Carematters is a not for profit organisation and it has cost them to print so, like anything it does cost to produce. And yes I got it free, so would I have bought it if I hadn’t. Well, if I’d was at the start of or confused by the maize of processes, yes I would buy it. The content is invaluable and what price can you put on peace of mind?
More information of the handbook on their blog web site:
Or on their normal web site: