Finity is a Community Association, based in South Bucks, UK. Finity’s aims are to encourage people to consider the options available to them in their later life. This includes both administrative and medical choices and any preferred living arrangements. By making plans in advance and telling interested parties, people will ensure better control in the future and help avoid crisis situations.
Jo Withers, Sue Raynsford and Pippa Stevens write for “Kicking the Bucket” on behalf of Finity:
We at Finity have read the blogs and the sad fact is that we are going to die. We hope it will be later rather than sooner. But there is good news. The fact is, and it is an ACTUAL fact, that for most of us, it will be later rather than sooner. This gives us time to concentrate on living, and it gives us time to do some planning. When we think of a future life as an older and possibly frailer person, what does that picture look like? Are we still independent? Can we still drive? Are we alone? Where are we living? Is it near relatives or friends? Are we climbing mountains, or visiting museums?
Have we thought about what is important to us, and what do we think will matter to us IF we are not as fit and healthy and able as we are now? What do we want to keep hold of and what will we let go, if we have to? What if there’s a crisis and we can’t speak or act for ourselves? Is there anyone who knows us well enough to help? Are they willing to do that? Have we talked to them?
I remember when I was engaged to be married, I asked my fiancé what sort of wedding he wanted. “Just ordinary, normal … you know,” he replied. Well, it turns out that we had very different ideas about what is a normal and ordinary wedding. This is totally unsurprising as this is just the case with everything else in life. We all have a different idea of ‘normal’. So you need to tell people what your idea of normal care and life is – before it’s too late.
One approach could be to have a conversation with your most important and closest friends or relatives. It’s not always easy as this can be an emotive subject, but it doesn’t all need to be talked about in one go. You can look out for cues (for example: news articles, TV shoes, books and films, family occasions). You can make formal plans encompassing legal provision to cover particular events. Things like making a will, appointing a lasting power of attorney for health and welfare , and for property and financial affairs, are all worth thinking about – and doing. You may want to create an Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment (sometimes known as a ‘Living Will’ )if you know you don’t want specific treatments in the future (such as resuscitation, known as CPR).
Let’s talk and make plans, and then get on with the very important task of living life to the full.