Our panel (above) and attendees covered a lot of topics in the first My Future Care Community meetup in April 2024. These events are held on Zoom and are open to everyone who has taken our training or attended an awareness session.

We heard about tragic and triumphant personal experiences where future care planning either was or was not in place, insights about the lamentable lack of support for future care planning, the sense of privilege at being able to help people make their plans, information regarding the legal validity of documents, and a whole lot more.

Here are some of our key takeaways from the conversation (the full transcript and audio recording are available to My Future Care Community members on the My Future Care padlet):

The difference the My Future Care Handbook is making

  1. The Handbook is particularly helpful if there are complex family situations and they are struggling to have the conversation.
  2. Social services are so bereft of money that they can’t afford to do what they need to do. So we’ve got to find ways of supporting people to support themselves. That’s where the My Future Care Handbook comes into itself.
  3. The Handbook is the perfect retirement present. These are not conversations to delay until your 70s or 80s. We don’t know when things are going to happen to us.
  4. Just introducing the Handbook is not enough for some people – you need to keep it going, have regular sessions.

Advice for supporting people to make later life and future care plans 

  1. Most people need regular support and encouragement to get their plans in place.
  2. You can’t work in someone’s best interests if you don’t know anything about them.
  3. When you know someone is going to be checking in with you in a couple of weeks’ time, it really motivates people to get into the Handbook.
  4. Use the Handbook to clarify your values and wishes for your Attorney and guide them as to what you’d want.
  5. People often say, oh no, people don’t want to talk about that, people don’t want to do that, but they do. We just need to ask them and not make it sound like it’s all about death and dying. It’s about empowering people, to have it their way.
  6. People want to talk about death, they want to talk about what they should do, and they haven’t got the people to talk to
  7. It doesn’t have to be a morose thing… what a privilege it is to be helping people along their journey to [make plans]

The realities of making later life and future care plans

  1. It is much more than just filling out a couple of forms, it is a whole process.
  2. Get things done early. Don’t leave it to a time when, for example for people with dementia, your capacity to write a Will or set up an LPA might be questioned.
  3. The community thinks, well the hospital are going to do it, then the hospital thinks, well, the community are doing it, so nobody does it.
  4. You ca
  5. n’t just keep putting it off until life is more stable around you, because you will simply put it off forever. So work with what you’ve got at the moment and get it done.
  6. There is still a massive lack of understanding as to what a power of attorney is and when it should be put in place.
  7. If you’re dying of cancer, on the whole you’re recognised, you’re supported, you’re funded, you’re given a package of care, you’ve got access to hospice. But if you happen to be 85, living on your own with general frailty, a couple of carers coming in a day, early stages dementia, family living away, you have no access to care, you have no funding for care. And nobody has these conversations with you, because you’re not labelled as being end of life.
  8. It’s very straightforward if you’ve got an obvious life limiting condition, if you’re in the last days of cancer, then you don’t want to be resuscitated, you don’t want to be going to hospital, you don’t want to be given antibiotics. But it’s where you do those same stages when you’re living with dementia, when you’re living with frailty and old age with four care visits a day.
  9. If you haven’t got anything documented, you risk being kept alive way beyond the point at which you might have wanted them to stop.
  10. Doing an LPA may not be easy, but getting a court of protection order in place (if there isn’t an LPA) is way more difficult: we knew the journey he was on and we should have put lasting power of attorney in place when he had the ability to do it. It’s a significant additional burden now.
  11. The most recent document will take priority, this means that if you write an Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment before a Lasting Power of Attorney then your attorneys could potentially override the Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment.

If you haven’t yet completed our My Future Care training or would like to promote greater awareness of future care planning amongst your colleagues, ask us about our training dates and bespoke sessions. By completing the training you will be invited to future meetup events and unlock all the benefits of our ongoing support!

Recommended Posts