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IHF encourages Government to promote planning for end of life

Irish Hospice Foundation Statement: Safeguarding Your Future Survey October 2018

The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has today (Monday 15 October, 2018) welcomed the publication of the Safeguarding Your Future Survey results by Safeguarding Ireland.
The Red C research has found that less than half of Irish adults have any of the recommended ‘planning for the future’ measures in place. These may include having a conversation with friends or family, making a will, taking out an enduring power of attorney, preparing an advance care plan or advance healthcare directive.
These findings resonate with earlier surveys commissioned by the IHF and support our call to the Government to empower and enable people to plan for their future through public information and facilitation.
In 2016, 3000 people answered the call to say what matters to them at end of life (Have Your Say 2016). There was overwhelming support for being able to prepare for what may happen. Citizens have told us that they wish to have a mechanism for discussing and recording issues relating to their end of life in the event that they are unable to speak for themselves. The IHF’s Think Ahead form is a popular method of facilitating such conversations and expressions with over 85,000 of such forms in circulation. Its provision for the making of Advance Healthcare Directives is also in line with current legislation.
As a State and as a society we must encourage conversation about dying, death and bereavement in Ireland, especially around planning ahead. The IHF will continue to campaign to stimulate this conversation and a coherent Government response.
Dying is everybody’s business and presents a myriad of challenge to the health service, other state services and to wider society. This means a population wide, whole society response is required.
We would encourage the Government to promote public awareness and citizen engagement in end-of-life issues especially planning for end of life. This should include the adoption and rollout of Think Ahead in line with the recommendations in the Finite Lives reports 2015 & 2017.
We would like to congratulate Safeguarding Ireland on this vital piece of work that will further encourage the public to focus on their end-of-life preferences and then, think, talk, tell.
For more information on Think Ahead, please visit www.thinkahead.ie
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