Dying Matters Awareness Week – Who would speak up for you?

Who would speak up for you, if you could no longer speak for yourself? That is the question Mountbatten is urging Islanders to think about as part of Dying Matters Awareness Week (Monday 14 May – Sunday 20 May 2018).

No-one is immune from serious illness or accidents, yet surprisingly few people plan for what might happen to them after such events. For example, where would they want to be cared for and what treatment would they want? Mountbatten has produced a booklet called a ‘Mountbatten Advance Care Plan’ which can be filled in by anyone, of any age, whether in good health or not, to record their wishes and preferences about future care and treatment.

Mountbatten Nurse Jane Garner, Advance Care Plan Facilitator, said: “Planning is a normal part of life, but planning ahead for illness and dying might seem a very difficult topic to think about. Some people may be resistant to the idea of writing down their wishes, finding it is too upsetting or morbid.

“However, planning ahead in this way can be very positive and empowering; if you were to become very ill, you would continue to influence the care you receive and maybe spare those closest to you from having to guess what you would have wanted, at a time that is likely to be difficult and worrying for them,” Jane added.

Nigel Hartley, Chief Executive, said: “I know from my own experience of supporting dying people how distraught families can become when they realise they don’t know what their loved one would have wanted before they become ill or die. Our mission is to make sure that no-one goes through the pain of having to hope that they have got things right, for example whether they would have wanted to be cremated or buried.

“We know that people who have talked about these things, and made plans together with their family, have a much better experience when they come to die. I would urge anyone to pick up this booklet and use it as a starting point to open up a conversation with your loved ones. Talking about death won’t make it happen, and once you have completed the booklet, you can relax in the knowledge you have made your wishes known.”

The Mountbatten Advance Care Plan will be available in our Ventnor Mountbatten shop later this week, and in our other nine shops from next month. It is also available to download and you can get a copy from the John Cheverton Centre, or call (01983) 529511 and ask to speak to Jane Garner.