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When to do your Advanced Care Plan & Other Documents
and what is Life Care Planning anyway?

Firstly, to answer when?  If you are asked, or you are asking yourself, “when is the best time to make an Advance Care Plan, or a Will, or a Living Will, or a Lasting Power of Attorney, or Document of Decisions would you answer it’s probably best to do it when I need to? 

For a whole host of reasons, the answer actually is no, that is the worst possible time, or indeed it may be too late.  The best time to think about and organise things like this is when you are at your best and well ahead of when it may be needed.  This will enable you, and all around you, to be living their best life, even if and when, life gets challenging.  It is not the best time when you are under pressure, very ill or stressed or indeed unable to now make decisions for yourself.  Others around you can find themselves in the difficult position of not knowing what to do next for your best interests and that can bring a host of other potential difficulties (including hospitals and lawyers engaging in dispute management) not to mention the distressing emotional impact.  Good planning can avoid those difficulties.  The best time is when you have the strength, time, capacity and resources, to consider matters well ahead of when they may be needed.  This gives you the opportunity to think things through, make changes as you wish over time, discuss things with loved ones, carers and healthcare professionals if needed.  Things can get complicated and its not always easy for you to know how to navigate it, let alone those around you.  So let us support you through these decisions and choices to enable you to put all you would like, in place. 

What is an Advance Care Plan?  (See Life Care Plan for examples)

You will complete a document that we will send to you, to record your healthcare choices and instructions in a long lasting file that we will provide.  It enables you to store other important documents relating to your healthcare too.

It gives you a centralised file that you and others, such as healthcare professionals, have easy access to.  Your Living Will / Advance Directive and Lasting Powers of Attorney, plus the whereabouts of your Will, will always be accessible. 

We have made contemplating what your wishes and needs are considerably easier for you, by listing a number of questions.  These will also indicate when it might be a good time to discuss points with family or healthcare professionals alongside simple yes or no questions. 

You will also have the opportunity to consider preparing further documents, such as a Living Will/Advance Directive as well as consider Right to Die at Home planning which will look at what is most important to you for end of life care.  From this a Document of Decisions may be produced, recording certain choices and wishes and possibly why.  This expands on the question in the Advance Care Plan asking if you have a preferred place for end of life care?  You may have a number of considerations surrounding medication, type of illness, who is caring, quite a number of things, making the answer more along the lines of, "it depends".  If you wish to refuse life sustaining treatment in certain circumstances you will need to make a Living Will and the two can go together. 

This culminates in a full Life Care Plan which can be taken step by step with support and guidance.

We then follow through to make an appointment with you by phone or zoom, where you can organise someone to be with you if they are helping you too.  We will have up to an hour to go through the document and either complete or identify areas of further consideration.  Once the core Advance Care Plan (ACP) is completed and signed, we can organise to store a copy, alongside other documents you may have done with us such as your Will/Living Will/LPAs.  The Life Care Planning will ensure all these documents are up to date and are as you wish them.

If you are resident on the Isle of Wight we can organise to meet with you to assemble your folder and insert the signed Advance Care Plan.  Whether you are at home, in a care facility or hospital we can visit.  You may organise for your Living Will / Advance Directive and Lasting Powers of Attorney to be available to put on the file at the same time too.  You may organise for someone you trust to be there and help when we meet.  We are happy to liaise with a family member or person you trust, for example to ensure your Advance Care Plan contains all the information you would like and to help organise appointments.

The Living Will / Advance Directive, General Powers of Attorney, Document of Decisions, possibly your Letter of Wishes (depending on what is in it), and anything else you deem to be of importance, can be stored in the section for important documents on the file, which is a long lasting, high quality ringbinder with inserted sleeves and sections provided for you for the safe storage.  It will record the whereabouts of your Will and whether that is registered with the National Wills register (we do not advise keeping a copy of your Will here as that is a private document but we can do that for you).

What is a Life Care Plan?

Whether you are fit and healthy now, or contemplating your care for other reasons, as described above, we look at your healthcare concerns and plans and ask if you would like to create an Advance Care Plan and consider whether you would put in place other documents to complete your healthcare planning.  Therefore, this is where all healthcare wishes and instructions are considered and recorded.  Your ACP provides a central place for their storage and easy access.  You will consider what your healthcare preferences are whether you are contemplating your future, have had an accident, going into hospital, obtaining a carer or nurse, going into a care facility,  had a life changing incident or diagnosed with long term or terminal illness. 

 

This comprehensive and centralised file can be taken with you if you go into hospital, or care facility, or have an accident or with the onset of illness.  It may also be kept with you at home as a safeguard knowing you have all your affairs in order in one easily accessible place for you and others.  You can use it if you are at home and have a carer/nurse.  You may also use it as a Personal Directory and store photos and memories as it will contain so much useful information for you. 

 

This much needed service and document (with centralised storoage facility) has been devised with a great deal of care and time.  It aims to fill current gaps which easily provide the client with tools with the aim to prevent the inability to decide what is best for you, and disagreement, conflict and disputes, often at the most difficult times.  The overloaded courts on these matters are testament to the difficulties that have been arising.

An Advance Care Plan provides the opportunity to set out what you want and need. 

 

The person that knows you best, is you.  Once in place, you can consider more things over a longer period of time, to add and develop the ACP in a similar way to a smart scrap book.  Its development is something that members of the family can add to also.  If you should become ill for a while and recover fully, or if you know you will be dealing with a debilitating or terminal situation, this ACP is something that reminds everyone, and you, who you are before you became ill so that you always feel that the person you are, is seen and heard at all times.  Loved ones cannot always be around when you would like, so this ACP is also a companion that perhaps family or loved ones have contributed to and have got to know, that can be a voice to those caring for you knowing what you like to talk about or do with your time.

 

Don’t Put off Your Other Documents

 

Your Will, like any other important document, can be something you always meant to do, and one day, there is an unexpected event and now it is too late.  The modern Will can do so much toward planning and organising, it really is best to have that beside you.

Let your executors and attornies know what documents you have prepared and your GP.  You have taken control and can relax that you have organised things as you wish.  Nothing is ever inflexible, so if you need to change or update details, you are free to do so.  Please contact us if you need help.  Growing your Advance Care Plan wth photos, notes and memories can be fun for all the family too.

Note:  Never amend your Will by hand!!

Providing various instructions to your loved ones, caers and healthcare professionals, as to what you would and would not like, not only enables them and others to know what to do, it also protects you from anything being done you would not wish.

Putting Documents in Place

Choosing to put these documents in place means you have selected people yourself that you trust to carry out your wishes, and in many instances you have made this legally binding.  You can organise with basic details or in as much detail as you like.  You can plan your favourite music to be played at a funeral or Living Funeral or direct the kind of funeral you would like and how funds are to be made available for that.  You can direct what medical care and treatment you are and are not prepared to have.  You can also choose who you believe is the best person to look after finances for you and the best person to look after healthcare decisions for you and whether there should be an additional person to make it a joint agreed decision.  It may not be the same.  We can help you consider the points needed to make your choices.

​Whilst there are a number of things to think about and organise, don’t let it worry, overwhelm you or put you off.  A little time invested now, considering choices carefully with advice to put things in place correctly, is nothing compared to the issues that can arise if you do not.  We will support and guide you to make this as straightforward as possible. 

 

Your Documents are your Protection

These documents you have created are now in a central locations.  You may have given substantial thought to them.  It ensures documents cannot be mislaid, hidden away or remain undiscovered.  This protects you from being taken advantage of, but it also to supports those around you who care, to make sure you are always taken care of in the way you would like. 

Use it as a Smart Scrap Book

The Advance Care Plan allows you to use the sections provided in as brief or as full a capacity as you like, with as little or as many photos of you and the people you love as you wish.  It has a section for notes and information on your likes, dislikes, your interests, what makes you smile, favourite memories, indeed whatever you think you would like to keep near you when you need to feel comforted or reassured. 

It has a Personal Directory of all those people and services you use around you, such as your GP, Emergency contacts, vet or hairdresser. 

 

There is a section for your important documents.   You can add to these documents at a later date if you wish.

Your Will should remain private but keeping a note of its whereabouts will be important.  Your Will may have a Letter of Wishes regarding your funeral plans.  Your Letter of Wishes is a private document that will not be made public attached to your Will.  Only add your Letter of Wishes to the folder for clear and quick access if it does not contain information that you would rather others did not see.  If it records private reasons why you may have excluded someone from your Will for example, this may not be a good idea and it may be a good idea to store your Letter of Wishes with us or your solicitor. 

Digital Assets is another modern concern.  You should not publish or display your online information, passwords and assets in a public place, but you may like to record who or where your record of that is.  For example is it in a special book, with an executor, beneficiary or even your solicitor.  Your online security is very important (so please do not share your details with anyone, including your carers, unless you are ultra sure they are trustworthy.  It’s the same for your bank and card details).  Feel free to discuss with us.   You can ensure your Advance Care Plan provides a safe and full support system for you and those that care for you.

 

Keep Your Will Private

​Your Will can cause all sorts of issues and it is usually best to keep this private.  Register its existence and whereabouts with the National Wills Register and leave a copy with us, or other highly trustworthy place, so that it can always be found quickly.   Only tell those you need to or trust about your Will.  The highest source of court proceedings is between family members.  Be careful.

We have devised the Advance Care Plan for the same reasons you would do an Advance Directive.  Preparing one, well ahead of when you would need it, away from the pressures and stresses, (given you actually have the capacity to make such decisions at the time) gives you the best chance of decisions being made in the way you want, giving you greater control and say, in what matters to you.   This can also take great pressure and pain off those around at what can be a very difficult time.

​The Advance Care Plan reminds and helps those caring for you, who you are and what you want and need.  They can provide you with the best quality of care you would like and have already directed.   It also allows you to have given time and thought to these issues so that you can put it all to one side and not worry about it, because you have dealt with it.  Never fear though, changes and updates can be made to all documents whenever you like.

 

Once you instruct us to prepare your Advance Care Plan, we will send you the questionnaire without the folder to complete.  This will give you time to obtain various information, speak to other healthcare professionals or family, about your various choices.  We will then contact you to arrange a time with you to go through the document and see if there are any areas you need help or advice on.   You may wish to have a family member or someone you trust with you to help complete it.  Once you have completed each section of the outline Advance Care Plan and signed it, you may forward this to us either by scan or the post.  We will assemble and complete the folder for you and post the completed Advance Care Plan back to you.  Before we return the completed folder you may wish to ask us to keep a copy on your file.

 

We will keep a record that you prepared an Advance Care Plan with us.  If you wish Tipi Wills & Mediation to keep a copy of your completed and signed Advance Care Plan on your file for safekeeping, then you must expressly ask them to do so.

 

Once you have completed each section and signed it, you can scan and send it to us and we will upload onto your file, and this service is free.  Or post it and we will scan, then upload it onto your file for safekeeping.  There will be a basic admin fee for the scanning and posting service. 

 

We appreciate it can take time to complete, and that it may be an ongoing document.  However, its outline questionnaire does need to be completed in good time so that we can send you your assembled Advanced Care Plan folder and have a record of what you have prepared. 

Be in control.  Be Certain

Trained by and Member of both Society of Wills Writers and Estate Planners & Society of  Mediators

Supports living your best life
Life Care Planning with trio of  services to support your welfare needs

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