People make end of life plans for all sorts of reasons. Some people say they don’t want to ever move into a nursing or care home. Others are terrified of a drawn-out, undignified death from a virus such as COVID-19. Most of us are aware that as we are living longer than our parents’ and grandparents’ generations, that this longevity brings its own set of problems. Some older people say they have simply ‘completed’ all that they wanted to do and that now is the time to go.
The reasons that lead an elderly person or someone who is seriously ill to seek information about their end-of-life choices are many and varied. All are intensely personal. Rewriting the ways in which society can plan for and experience death and dying is the challenge of our time.
The development of an end of life plan is one small step that all of us can take to protect those we love from the ravages of the law. While most of us will never use our plan, we can all draw comfort in knowing that if things ever become too painful or undignified (especially in the context of serious illness and age), we will have a plan in place that will allow us to maintain our dignity and our independence.