Thinking about what I want and don’t want at the end of my life

As you approach the end of your life, you may have worries about what will happen, and whether you will have any say in the treatment and care you receive.

One of the most powerful things you can do is to think about what you do and don’t want, and to prepare those around you to help you to achieve it. You can use this thinking tool to do this.

Preparing to think about what you want and don’t want

Before you think about the very end of your life, look back at your One-page Profile. Here you wrote down what is most important to you, and how people can best support you. You can draw on this as you think about how you would like people to help you at the end.

How to use the What I want and don’t want thinking tool

As you begin to think about your death, you may find it helpful to talk to the specialist staff who support you about what you might expect. They will be able to explain what may happen as you draw closer to the end, and to reassure you about the care they can offer.

You may also want to talk to your close family and friends as you use this thinking tool so that you can share your concerns. They may be anxious too and you can think together about how you can make sure that you have what you want at the end.

On your What I Want and Don’t Want thinking tool are some questions. They may not all be relevant to you, but try to answer most of them. While you’re thinking about them, consider too if any decisions will need to be made to be sure that you have what you want as far as possible.

Next steps

If you haven’t already, talk to anyone who may be involved about what matters most to you, what you want to happen, and what you don’t want to happen.

Open your Action Plan thinking tool and write down:

  • What do I want to happen?
  • What do I or anyone else need to do to make this happen?

On your What I Want and Don’t Want thinking tool, you made notes about decisions that may need to be made. Now open your Decision-making Agreement and answer these questions:

  • What decisions need to be made?
  • Who will make these decisions?
  • How will they make the decisions?
  • Who has the final say?
  • Are there any differences between what my family and I want?
  • How will we resolve these differences?