Seven in 10 Brits have made no plans for end of life care
A survey of more than 3,000 people carried out by Which? found that 71% of people have no plans in place whatsoever for end of life care.
Of the 29% who did, only three in 10 had prepared a living will or advance decision, outlining the types of medical treatment they would refuse if they did not have the capacity to communicate their decisions.
The most common step that had been taken, cited by 93% of the sample, was to write a will outlining what should happen to their property, possessions and money after death.
Meanwhile, six in 10 had organised Power of Attorney, a legal document that appoints one or multiple ‘attorneys’ to make decisions on your behalf, should you lose mental capacity.
In addition, 58% had discussed their end of life care preferences with family or friends.
The research also revealed a lack of awareness of how hospices can help with end of life care. Only 31% of the sample correctly believed that hospice care is free for all, while 17% thought that patients needed to pay for care in a hospice.
As hospice care is paid for through a combination of NHS funding and public donations, care provided by a hospice is free for patients and their families.
Don’t put off planning
Alex Hayman, Which? managing director of public markets, said: “Although it can be uncomfortable to think about, by taking the time to consider your plans for the end of your life, you can help ensure that when it comes, your loved ones will be able to respect your wishes and preferences.
“There are a number of different options available for arranging end of life care, and it’s important to understand what they all entail and how they might differ. Do your research and explore your options to help find out which are best suited to you.”