If you have a terminal illness or have become seriously ill or disabled, you may need to think about the care you will receive in the final months of your life.
This is a difficult subject to think about. You may want to print this factsheet off and look for information when you feel ready, or when you have somebody with you.
Advance planning can give you the opportunity to think through your wishes and feelings about how you would like to be cared for, and to discuss these with family, friends and medical and social care staff working with you.
Planning for your care
Devon health services have produced a Planning for your Future Care booklet, which you can use to record your wishes. It also has sections on making a will, putting your affairs in order and planning a funeral.
The NHS has also produced a national Planning for your Future Care booklet which explains all the things you may want to consider and has contact details for useful national organisations. Find it at www.nhs.uk/Planners/end-of-life-care
Mental capacity and power of attorney
Mental capacity is your ability to make decisions about your life. Your capacity to make decisions could be affected by an injury, a serious illness or a disability. You may want to plan ahead for when you do not have capacity, or you might be caring for someone who is not able to make decisions for themselves.
We have specific information about organising your finances and any care you need in the future; including making an advance decision about your care or giving someone power of attorney to manage your money. Visit new.devon.gov.uk/adultsocialcareandhealth/managing-someone-elses-affairs
Dying Matters in Devon is our health and social care strategy for making sure that people in Devon have the best quality of care in the last days of their life.
Advice and support
There are a range of organisations which can provide information about planning for end of life
- Cancer Research UK – information for people with terminal cancers Phone 0808 800 4040 to speak to a nurse or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/coping-with-cancer/dying
- Marie Curie Cancer Care – practical information about caring for people with a terminal illness phone the support line on 0800 090 2309 or visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/being-there/end-of-life-preparation
- Macmillan – information about the practical and emotional aspects of end of life care phone 0808 808 00 00 or visit www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/coping/at-the-end-of-life
- Dying Matters – a national coalition which aims to change public attitudes about dying and bereavement at www.dyingmatters.org/page/planning-ahead
- Age UK provides a range of helpful information on the emotional, practical and financial aspects of bereavement for anyone dealing with the death of a family member or friend call the advice line on 0800 169 6565 or visit www.ageuk.org.uk/health-wellbeing/relationships-and-family/bereavement/emotional-effects-of-bereavement
Information about care standards
- Gold Standards Framework – helps doctors, nurses and care assistants provide the highest possible standards of care by providing them with appropriate training. Find out more at www.goldstandardsframework.org.uk/patients-amp-carers
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) – information about the national quality standard for end of life clinical care. Find out more at www.nice.org.uk/guidance/QS13
Hospices in Devon
North Devon Hospice
Phone: 01271 344248 Visit: www.northdevonhospice.org.uk
Rowcroft Hospice South Devon
Phone: 01803 210800 Visit: www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk
Hospiscare – Exeter, East and Mid Devon
Phone: 01392 688000 Visit: www.hospiscare.co.uk
St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth
Phone: 01752 401172 Visit: www.stlukes-hospice.org.uk