The three-month pilot phase of the Think Ahead initiative is being rolled out in Limerick and Louth with a view to a national campaign in 2013.
Developed by the Forum on End of Life in Ireland – an initiative of the Irish Hospice Foundation – the Think Ahead project involves people thinking about and recording their preferences in the event of an emergency, serious illness or death. A Think Ahead form has been developed for people to use in capturing this important information and will be available free to all members of the public.
The Think Ahead initiative was developed following a year-long national public consultation between 2009 and 2010 to explore issues of concern around death, dying and bereavement in Ireland. Think Ahead will engage all members of the public – young and old; those who are healthy and those living with illness.
People in Limerick and Louth are being asked to think about their wishes for end of life, talk to their families and then to fill out their Think Ahead form. The pilot will run until Friday, November 30th and people are being asked to fill in their Think Ahead form by this date.
The concept of Think Ahead was launched by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny in October 2011. Limerick and Louth have been chosen as the sites for a pilot programme which will run from September to November 2012.
During the pilots in Limerick and Louth, Think Ahead forms will be available from pharmacies, Citizen Information Centres and many local libraries. A media campaign is being organized with advertising in newspapers and on radio.
The “Think Ahead” initiative is being supported by a number of influential bodies such as the Law Reform Commission, the Citizens Information Board and the Irish Pharmacy Union.
The Think Ahead Form will also allow people to record the location of key legal and financial documents and approve the donation of their organs and a hospital post-mortem in the event of their death. The Think Ahead Form and useful related guidance and resources are available on www.thinkahead.ie
Think Ahead has been developed by the Forum on End of Life in Ireland. The Forum conducted a year-long consultation across Ireland in 2009 to look at the issues that mattered most to Irish people in relation to death, dying and bereavement.