It’s not easy to talk about dying.
Which is why many of us never really have that conversation, adding to the stress and anxiety experienced by individuals and their families when the time approaches.
But the launch of Baptist Care SA’s ‘My Choices: An A-Z of personal choices and practical preparations to facilitate end of life support’, has made it a little bit easier to make your wishes known.
Authored by Vicky Legge and Anne Van Loon from Baptist Care SA’s Church Support Team, “My Choices” is based on an idea conceived by retired nurse, Ineke Hillege.
‘So many people don’t know how to advocate for themselves and communicate how they want to be looked after and cared for,’ explains Anne, who saw a need for practical end of life support, above and beyond that which could be met by local church pastors.
‘“My Choices” helps people to start thinking and talking about how they want to live at end of life. It’s a tool for individuals and families, but also for service providers and churches who have the option to use it within small groups, pastoral care activities, or as an outreach to their wider community.
There are three parts to My Choices: 1) the guidebook that explains how you can complete the work sheets, 2) the A-Z indexes which prompt thinking about personal preferences, and 3) the work sheets on which you document your choices which are available in MS Word and in PDF format These document are flexible and can be changed over time; covering all aspects of life and death; from health, in-home support, spiritual support, financial assets, digital identity and everything in between.
For Ineke, who was moved by the suffering that she saw during her nursing years, this resource belongs to God and she trusts that it will help preserve people’s dignity and offer peace of mind as life comes to a close.
The “My Choices” guide is available for purchase for $15 by contacting Anne van Loon on firstname.lastname@example.org. The “My Choices” worksheets are available for free download from the Baptist Care SA website www.baptistcaresa.org.au.