As you are aware, coronavirus (COVID-19) has rapidly developed into a pandemic and is especially of concern to patients with serious underlying health conditions. As a result, many of our patients have contacted us for advice about what they should do if they become ill during this time.
Some patients have found the coronavirus pandemic has triggered many different feelings and thoughts, especially about what is important to them and their family. These thoughts may include how they would wish to be cared for if they became unwell with coronavirus, or what treatments would be acceptable to them if their health deteriorated because of their current illness.
One way we can help at this time is to answer any questions you or your family may have. We will always be open and honest when we talk to you about your care and can help you plan for all possibilities.
You may have heard of an Advance Care Plan. This is a document that allows you to tell healthcare professionals what your wishes are for your future care when you can no longer do this for yourself. The types of things an advance care plan may include are:
- Who you would like to be involved in making decisions about your care.
- What things are or would be really important to you about your care.
- Who you would like to spend time with.
- What treatment you would absolutely NOT want.
- Where you would prefer to be cared for e.g. at home or in a hospital.
- How you would like practical matters dealt with, such as the care of a pet.
After completing an advance care plan, some individuals find their wishes change. Any decisions documented in an advance care plan can always be amended.
It is your choice whether you make an advance care plan and you should not feel any pressure to include anything you are not comfortable with. However, writing down your wishes can help make it easier for healthcare professionals to care for you in the event you become seriously ill.
Should you wish to discuss advance care planning further, please contact us on 07957730454 and we will arrange an appointment with either your palliative care nurse or Cathy Browning/Dr Sue Davenport if you are a day therapies patient.