The future? Whose future? Yours, or the future of those you will be leaving behind when you die?
Talking to several of my friends, it turns out that many of them have given this some thought. It's not because they're old, or even remotely thinking about dying. It's because they realise that planning for a future when they will no longer be around to contribute to conversations is probably a good idea. So they've started to dust off the Wills they made years ago, and create Enduring Powers of Attorney, both for their property and also for their personal care. And they've become aware of how much those nearest and dearest to them don't know about how they would like to be treated if they were to become seriously ill. It certainly came as a bolt out of the blue when one of my daughters (who's a nurse and often sees people dying) said to me recently, 'Mum, do you want to be resuscitated?' What a wonderful question, and it made me think. None of my children would know - unless I told them! So I set about investigating.
A friend put me in touch with someone who could help and he directed me here. Advance Care Planning (or ACP) is the process of thinking about, talking about and planning for future health care and end of life care. This plan is a broad approach to end of life care and decision-making. It enables you to have a caring conversation with your family as well as with your doctor so that they would know the values, wishes and treatment preferences that you hold.
As my son said when I sent the first draft of the document around to my four children to consider, 'I agree with all this, Mum, provided it's decades away!'
And that's the point for me. It will be decades away and, if it provides the opportunity to share really profound thoughts with those you love most - now - the documents can be shared and then filed away and largely forgotten about.
I'm in the process of making a contribution to the future of those I love most so that we can all feel secure and well-informed. I'm sure that many of the people I know are thinking the same way.