Of course, having put all this time and effort into writing things down, it would be terrible if no one knew about it! It’s a good idea to talk it all through to the people that are closest to you – especially if they are likely to be involved in looking after you in the future. And it’s also important to let your doctor and any other health or social care professionals have a copy so that they can put it in their records for reference in the future.
You will always keep the original documents. Your GP will issue you with a yellow folder to keep them all in – it’s what paramedics or the out of hours service will look for if they’re called to your home – but everyone involved in your care should have a copy for their records. The folder can them go with you to all your health and social care appointments, where the forms can be updated as you continue to plan.
While not everyone is going to want to think or talk about this, we all have the right to make choices about our future care. Why not have a think about what you might like, talk to your family about what to choose, and ask for help with getting the documents in place from your GP or another health or social care professional. It’s a lot to think about and unless you feel that there is some time pressure, you certainly don’t have to think about it all now! But it is good to know what kinds of rights we have about making decisions in advance. If you want to and when you’re ready, why not have a chat about it with your family and make sure they know they can make decisions for the future too.
“It’s my right to write this stuff down, and they have to listen to me! To think all this time I’ve been worried sick about ending up like my dad, hating his life; not anymore!”
Once you’ve started to think about these things, you may find that you want to organise some practical things as well and get more of your affairs in order; why not have a look at our handy guide: Getting my Affairs in Order.