In this article, we speak to Peter Loose about the future care planning support he is providing to fellow members of Bognor Regis and Slindon Catholic Parish.

Peter completed our My Future Care training recently so that he could share his learning with his church community, using the My Future Care Handbook as a guide.

If you are a member of a community group of any kind, Peter’s insights are likely to be relevant to you. Let’s see what he has to say.

What kind of support do you provide, Peter?

Like most churches, we have a significant proportion of people in the “third age” and conversations with those people confirmed experiences elsewhere that people tend to think about the issues in the My Future Care Handbook when they start to become pressing – whether for themselves or family members.

To address this, to create “conversation starters” and to provide specific support for some people for whom it is a current issue, we decided to hold a series of coffee mornings where we could introduce the Handbook, share experiences and encourage people to make a start.

In practice, we found a lot of people had already made a start on the issues but didn’t know what else to do. The Handbook turned out to be an excellent roadmap for these people. 

What kind of challenges do the people you support face when it comes to making plans for later life and beyond?

People tend to start too late, although I do advocate that “it is never too late and never too early”.

People whose families live afar struggle to find opportunities for the right discussions, especially for the more sensitive questions. And it can be difficult to know where and when to start.

The “What are your priorities?” section of the My Future Care Handbook [in which people can review and select topics that are relevant to them] is as good a starting point as you can get. I stress that “Handbook” in the title is no accident – it is not a novel to be read from start to finish but a reference book to look at periodically and to consult the relevant sections when the time is right.

How do you hope the My Future Care Handbook and support will help you meet people’s needs better?

We hope that it will encourage people to have conversations sooner, whether with the generation above them while they are supporting them or the generations below when we reach that age.

As churchgoers, we are accustomed to reflecting – and prompted by the Handbook, other people’s stories have been stimulating thoughts and conversations.

I have come to regard the Handbook as the go-to retirement gift – now you have extra time available it would be good to make a start, and what better time to begin compiling your life story!

Feeling motivated by Peter’s story? Would you like to upskill yourself or people in your group to support people in making plans for later and future care?

Take advantage of our free training and ongoing support programme. Our online training will equip your team to help the people you work with make an action plan and see it through, using the My Future Care Handbook as a source of information and structure for the conversation. Handbooks are available free in certain areas (thanks to area-specific funding), otherwise bulk prices are available.

Request further information.

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