A Good Death
Friends at the End work to ensure that people have a good death and provide help and assistance with end of life planning.
In Scotland, 56,000 people die every year and of these, 70% are over the age of 70. One in three people die of cancer, one in three will die from organ failure and one in three of us will ultimately die with dementia and/or because we get old and frail.
A good death can, and should, mean different things to different people. To many people, a good death is where the transition from life to death is seamless, painless and free from stress.
Achieving the death that you want can involve:
- Being in an intensive care unit, getting various life-sustaining therapies,
- Being at home, surrounded by family,
- Being in a hospice receiving excellent palliative care.
There are common threads which are woven to the idea of a ‘Good Death’;
- Having affairs in order, such as funeral/memorial/burial/cremation plans.
- Final medical care is specified (Advanced Care Planning).
- Having a proxy/power of attorney for health and finance appointed, financial commitments tied up, and an updated will so your estate is distributed the way you want it to be.
- Controlled pain/discomfort.
- Cared for by people that you would choose. This could be doctors, nurses, home carers or family/friends.
- Being in a place of your choosing – home, care home, hospital, or a special place with happy memories.
- To receive mindful and respectful care; to be treated as a live human being until the moment you die.
- Not being alone.
- Favourite activities or objects: the things that would be most pleasing and comforting in your final days such as favourite music or readings, photographs of happy and memorable occasions, a vase of flowers, a back rub or foot massage, or simply being surrounded by loved ones in quiet conversation.
Friends at the End have various resources available to help those planning a good death, alternatively, if you would like to speak to us about your wishes or have any questions about end of life care planning, you can contact us here.
Many other organisations can help with end of life care planning, here are a few helpful websites.
Advance Decisions Assistance can help with writing legally binding end of life care planning documents in England and Wales that are tailored to your wishes.
My Decisions is a simple, free website (created by Compassion in Dying) which guides you through the decisions you’ll need to make and questions which you may be asked.
Please contact us if we can help in any way.