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Patient, Families & Carers

Facing our own end of life or the end of life of a family member, friend or someone we are caring for can be difficult thing. It can be an emotional journey and sometimes a sad one. A few things can make that journey easier to travel, for example having the support we need, being prepared and open and knowing we are doing the best for those we care about and/or support.

There are 5 key things to do to prepare for the end of life:

1. Write an Advance Care Plan

This plan can help you prepare for the future. It gives you an opportunity to think about, talk about and write down your wishes and preferences for care in the future and at the end of your life.

The plan can help you and your carers (your family, friends and professionals) to understand what is important to you when planning your care. If a time comes when, for whatever reason, you are unable to make a decision for yourself, anyone who has to make decisions about your care on your behalf will have to take into account anything you have written in your plan.

You can download a copy of our Gentle Dusk Advance Care Plan here.

2. Make a Will

Writing a will allows you to be the decision maker of what happens to your possessions and money. It also makes the process of sorting out your affairs a lot easier for those you have left behind.

For more information go to:

3. Organise a Power of Attorney

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you appoint one or more people (attorneys) to help you make decisions or make decisions on your behalf. This gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and cannot make decisions (you 'lack mental capacity').

For more information go to:

4. Record your Funeral Wishes

Do you want to be buried or cremated? Do you want a funeral service? A religious or non-religious ceremony? Do you want a party afterwards? If so, what form would you like it to take? These are just some of the questions you might wish to think about. You can leave written wishes about what is important to you.

Here you can find a full list of topics to think and talk about.

5. Consider Organ Donation or Body Donation

Other people can benefit from your organs or your body after your death. Many definitely want to donate, or would consider donating, their organs but only 50% have talked about it with their families. If you want to find out more or to register as an organ donor, go to

Information about full body donation can be found in the Gentle Dusk Advance Care Plan above.


Dying Matters – national programme for public awareness of dying, death and bereavement.

Age UK Lifebook – this is an easy way to record the practical details of your life. Once completed, it will provide valuable information for those who care for you to have in an emergency or once you have died.

For links to local services and further information for people in the last years of life, their families, carers and friends, go to Find Me Help.



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