Home Posts tagged "Think Ahead"

Posts Tagged ‘Think Ahead’

Book Now: Planning for the Future Seminar

Posted on: October 4th, 2018

Are you a Healthcare Professional? Are you ready for the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act?
Do you want to seize the opportunity to address challenges around Advance Care Planning and Advance Healthcare Directives?
Join us for Planning For the Future: Conversations & Challenges at the Alex Hotel on Wednesday 24 October. Fee: €50
Check out the Programme of speakers for the day here.
To book your place, complete the booking form and return by post to: Bronagh Curran, Irish Hospice Foundation, Morrison Chambers, 32 Nassau Street, Dublin 2  or email to: Bronagh.curran@hospicefoundation.ie (unless paying by credit card).
** A number of bursaries are also available to the public to attend. Please contact Bronagh on (01) 679 3188 or by email bronagh.curran@hospicefoundation.ie

Welcoming “Finite Lives” Report

Posted on: May 19th, 2017

The Irish Hospice Foundation welcomes the newly published report Finite Lives which examines State Services around dying, death and bereavement.







Angela Edghill, Irish Hospice Foundation, Advocacy and Public Engagement Manager said the ground breaking report is the first of its kind and proves that dying is everyone’s business.

Ms Edghill added: “It provides great evidence for a more coordinated and strategic approach to dying, death and bereavement by all of the agencies and Departments of State. Only good can come of this report since the issues it examines affect us all, without exception – but only if the State acts on Senator O’Donnell’s sensible, practical and reasonable recommendations.”


The report makes 16 key recommendations including the promotion of the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Think Ahead planning tool. The purpose of the Think Ahead document is to guide members of the public in discussing and recording their preferences in the event of emergency, serious illness or death.

Further information is available on www.thinkahead.ie

Finite Lives by Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell was launched by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny this afternoon (Wednesday, 17 May) at Government Buildings.


The report is available here for download.


Are we ready to “Think Ahead”? Research says yes

Posted on: July 18th, 2016

Research on end-of-life planning shows Irish patients are well able to “Think Ahead”

are we ready to think ahead

Dr. Brendan O’Shea’s research is featured in the report ‘Are We Ready to “Think Ahead”? Acceptability Study Using an Innovative End of Life Planning Tool’.

The Irish Hospice Foundation and the Forum on End of Life in Ireland have today (21st welcomed the publication in The Irish Medical Journal (IMJ) this month of a General Practice based study which found a strongly positive response by patients to a request to consider and record their detailed preferences regarding their own end-of-life care. A scientific paper in the peer reviewed journal entitled ‘Are We Ready to “Think Ahead”? Acceptability Study Using an Innovative End of Life Planning Tool’ captures the results of a study by Dr. Brendan O’Shea (Lecturer in General Practice at Trinity College) and his Colleagues on the TCD HSE GP Training Scheme. The study involved 100 clinically stable patients in five GP Training Practices attending their GP for routine care. Participants were provided with a “Think Ahead” form and their experience of filling out the form was later explored by telephone survey.
Think Ahead is a citizen-led advance planning tool developed by the National Council of the Forum on End of Life in Ireland, an initiative of the Irish Hospice Foundation. It guides people in looking at and recording all aspects of end of life: legal, financial, healthcare preferences and wishes for organ donation and funeral arrangements. The study team was supported by the Forum on End of Life in Ireland and the Irish Hospice Foundation. Key results included:
  • 63% reported “no difficulty” completing the form
  • 76% completed all or part of the form
  • 74% indicated they did not find completing the form to cause upset
  • 87% felt that the Think Ahead document should be made more widely available
  • 68%indicated they felt “Think Ahead” would be of general interest
  • 83% had discussions on end-of-life planning with family members after reading
Dr. O’Shea commented: “Our study has found that the GP surgery is a good location to introduce end-of-life conversations, and a planning tool such as Think Ahead is invaluable. Our study found high levels of acceptability and positive experience for most patients. Most had no difficulty in completing the form, were not upset by it and felt it should be more widely available. The form itself was effective in encouraging discussions on end-of-life issues with family.”
Mrs. Justice Catherine McGuinness, Chairperson of the National Council, commented: “Dr. O’Shea’s research shows a very positive response from the public to the notion of planning ahead. End-of- life discussions can be uncomfortable for many of us but they are essential on a societal as well as a personal level. Dr. O’Shea’s research has been vital in informing the future development of Think Ahead.”
Sharon Foley, CEO of the Irish Hospice Foundation, stated: “Think Ahead was developed following a year-long public consultation process where people said they wanted a tool of this kind. It is continually being tested to ensure that it is meeting the needs of the public.”
The Think Ahead form provides for an Advance Healthcare Directive. While Advance Healthcare Directives are recognised in common law, a provision to legislate for Advance Healthcare Directives was incorporated into the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Bill 2013.
Copies of the Think Ahead form are can be accessed and downloaded here.
Click here to download this document.
Visit Irish Medical Journal website at www.imj.ie.

Matt Cooper talks about Think Ahead & DNR decision on the Saturday Night Show

Posted on: July 18th, 2016

Matt Cooper talks about Think Ahead

Matt Cooper talks about Think Ahead

Matt Cooper, host of “The Last Word”, discusses DNR decisions and the Think Ahead programme on the Saturday Night Show in January 2015.

For most of us, discussions and signing of  Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders will only happen once. But Matt Cooper, host of “The Last Word” was faced with the difficult decision of signing DNR consents for both parents.

Matt spoke about this experience with Brendan O’Connor on the Saturday Night Show in January 2015. He also referenced the Think Ahead form and encouraged members of the public to plan for end of life situations.

Read Matt’s story here

Think Ahead – One Family’s Story

Posted on: July 18th, 2016

Wendy plans for end-of-life with Think Ahead

Think Ahead - One Family's Story

Helen and Wendy Coughlan talk about how Think Ahead helped them plan for Wendy’s end-of-life care.

Wendy Coughlan from Greystones, who has terminal cancer, discusses how she has used the Think Ahead Form. Wendy has used Think Ahead to plan for her end-of-life care with her family. In this video, she and her daughter, Helen, speak openly and passionately about how Think Ahead has helped the entire family on this journey.

Think Ahead – One Family’s Story

Click here to listen to Wendy and Helen on The John Murray Show on RTE Radio 1.

Briefing paper on Advance Healthcare Directives

Posted on: July 18th, 2016

Briefing paper on advance healthcare directives

Questions and answers on Advance Healthcare Directives

This briefing paper answers some of the questions people may have about the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) bill and the issue of Advance Care Directives.

“This act provides a legislative policy framework which supports our work to enable people think about what they want for themselves at end of life, primarily through the Think Ahead programme.”

— Sharon Foley, CEO of the Irish Hospice Foundation.

Advance Healthcare Directives Briefing Paper January 2016

Taoiseach urges people to Think Ahead and plan for End of Life

Posted on: July 17th, 2014

Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and IHF CEO Sharon Foley at the the launch of Phase Two of Think Ahead



TAOISEACH Enda Kenny today (Thursday) launched phase two of Think Ahead, an initiative which encourages people to plan for end of life by recording their wishes in the event of an emergency, serious illness or death.

Developed by the Forum on End of Life in Ireland, a project of the Irish Hospice Foundation, (IHF), Think Ahead urges people to Think, Talk, Tell, and recordand review their personal preferences for future medical, financial and personal care.

Currently available as a printed form, the IHF announced that agreement has been reached with Patients Knows Best, the world’s first patient-controlled, online medical records system to pilot ‘Think Ahead online’ in Ireland as part of phase two of the initiative. This will allow people record, store and retrieve their end of life wishes and care preferences, including their medical records, online behind a securer server.

A pilot of ‘Think Ahead online’ is to be funded by Third Age, a voluntary community organisation which aims to promote the resources of older people.

Speaking at today’s launch the Taoiseach welcomed the next phase of Think Ahead. He said: “Above all Think Ahead is empowering. It puts the person who is ill at the centre of operations, making sure their end-of-life care is as close to their wish as possible. For our part in Government, we are committed to providing a framework where people’s wishes around end-of-life care can be met, including the legislation providing for Advanced Care Directives which is currently being advanced.  Of course, Think Ahead encompasses more than care preferences; this valuable tool also covers other issues like legal and financial matters, organ donation and funeral arrangements.”  

Ms Justice Catherine McGuinness, Chair of the Forum on End of Life in Ireland, said while dying and death can be difficult and daunting topics, end of life care is an important discussion that we all should have with our loved ones.

“Think Ahead is a valuable guide for people planning their financial and legal affairs. It helps prevent shock, avoid confusion and gives control, choice and peace at the end.”

“Not enough people have a pension or have made a will. Fewer still have taken the time to decide who they would like to be contacted in the event of an emergency, or how to make important decisions known to their loved ones. Our ambition is that every citizen in Ireland will use Think Ahead as an important planning tool.”

Sharon Foley, CEO of the IHF, said everyone has the right to a say in their care at all times, including end of life. “But we also have the responsibility to let other people know our decisions and this is where Think Ahead can help.”

“Open and honest discussion about death and dying can ensure that someone’s wishes for end of life are known and respected. It can also support those they love through bereavement.”

She described the roll out of Think Ahead online as a “very exciting development”.

Phase One of Think Ahead was launched in 2011 by An Taoiseach. Think Ahead 2 is a revised form which is slimmer and more accessible than the original. The biggest change is a section allowing users create an Advance Healthcare Directive, reflecting changes currently proposed in draft legislation.

The form was revised after consultation with a wide variety of different groups and individuals including legal and healthcare professionals. One important source of feedback in revising Think Ahead was research conducted by Dr Brendan O’Shea on the use of Think Ahead in General Practice, published in the Irish Medical Journal in May 2014. Dr. O’Shea made a presentation on his research at today’s launch which showed that 86% who took part felt that Think Ahead should be used more widely.  83% said they had discussions on end-of-life planning with family members after reading Think Ahead.

Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, founder and CEO of Patients Know Best which will do an online pilot of Think Ahead in Ireland said at today’s launch:  “Patients Know Best is delighted to add a digital version of Think Ahead’s work within its patient-controlled medical records. The feedback on Think Ahead from a variety of users was full of praise – the end of life care planning forms are easy to understand, simple to use and useful in that they help patients and their families become more prepared.

“We’re very pleased to provide end of life care planning functionality to all Irish citizens and to our customers across seven other countries. We too believe that everyone should Think Ahead.”

Patients Know Best is a fully secure online tool which enables patients to better organise, manage and control their own health care provisions.

Áine Brady, CEO of Third Age which is funding the development of the online version of Think Ahead through PKB said: “We are delighted to support the further development of Think Ahead so it can be made available online. It will be an important resource for SAGE, the Support & Advocacy Service for Older People, which we are currently developing with the HSE and Atlantic Philanthropies.


The ‘Think Ahead’ form can be downloaded from www.thinkahead.ie.