Think Ahead – Planning for death & dying
It is the wish of most of us to to be able to die peacefully, conscious and capable of communicating with our loved ones to the very end. Unfortunately, death does not always occur in this way.
Thinking about dying is challenging, and talking meaningfully with those who are close to us about matters such as serious illness, dying and death can be difficult. We have developed Think Ahead as a tool to help you start this process at an early stage, beginning with helping you to reflect on your personal values, beliefs and understanding about end of life.
Think Ahead is a public awareness initiative aimed at guiding people in discussing and recording their care preferences in the event of an accident or other emergency, serious illness or death – when they may well be unable to speak for themselves. It comprises a detailed form divided into six sections: (1) Key Information; (2) Care Preferences; (3) Legal Matters; (4) Financial Matters; (5) When I Die; and (6) Sharing Information.
An initiative of the Forum on End of Life in Ireland, Think Ahead was launched by the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, at the Forum’s national conference in October 2011.
Think, Talk, Tell
Think Ahead encourages people to think about important issues; talk to others about them (family, GP, etc.); and tell key people in their lives about their decisions and preferences in relation to these matters. Making important decisions in advance means that your views can be taken into account when you are too ill to focus on such issues or can no longer speak for yourself, reducing the burden on your loved ones and sparing them from having to make difficult decisions at a stressful time.
The Think Ahead form, with related guidance and resources, can be downloaded from www.thinkahead.ie. It is also available from Citizens Information Centres or from MABS – the Money Advice and Budgeting Service.
Watch this short thought-provoking video about Think Ahead :