This is something that you may have heard Francis, our Project Manager say in previous updates and its true.
Avoiding talking about it may avoid a moment of awkwardness, but skirting around the issue can have a real effect on a carers life, particularly for those looking after someone approaching the end of their life.
One of the great achievements of Francis's work with this project is that he provides carers with an opportunity to have that first, often frank, conversation about death and their feelings about the future. This allows them to consider the questions they have about their caring role, that have often been avoided:
How do I get a will in place?
What will I do if the person I look after is unable to make decisions for themselves?
As part of this project we will be providing carers with practical answers that will help to alleviate their worries. In the coming months we will be delivering an expert workshop that will teach carers about Advanced Planning, which includes:
Making a will - this would allow a carer and the carers for person to decide what happened to their personal assets after they die.
Lasting Power of Attorney - this would allow a carer to choose other people to make decisions on their behalf should they ever lack the mental capacity to make decisions themselves.
So Francis is right, death doesn't need to be taboo and having an honest conversation about it can lead to activities that can improve a carers quality of life and wellbeing.
Thank you so much for your support of this project, which remains the only of its kind in London, and helps carers through what can understandably be a very difficult time.
Carers Network's End of Life Carers Project Update
By Francis Ngale | End of Life Carers Project Manager
Francis Ngale, End of Life Carers Project Manager
Your generous donations have helped enable us to continue to deliver our project supporting carers looking after someone near the end of their life.
The project is a special carers’ service designed to provide dedicated casework support to carers aged 18 or over, who are looking after someone in the later years of life.
For this project, the person being looked after would either:
Have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, or
Is 80 or over, and has general frailty and/or co-existing conditions, or
Is in a residential or nursing home.
Death does not need to be a taboo.
I have found that most carers in the project welcome the opportunity to open-up and share their hopes and fears around death.
This could include their worries about what may happen to their cared-for if they died first, and how they would readjust to life without caring.
It is not so much about people not wanting to talk about death, dying and bereavement – it is more a case of with who to talk to about it – and how.
As part of the project we have run popular workshops covering topics including:
Advance care planning & funeral costs;
Talking about death and planning the last years of life;
Benefits for carers of older people;
How to make better use your smart phone.
We have also worked with two end of life carers to produce a short practical guide for preparing or dealing with a death and produced brief information sheets on Lasting Power of Attorney, Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment and what to do when someone dies.
By Daniel Anderson | Fundraising Development Manager
"It was like a whole world opened up to me" - Zivi
In our last report we were able to share the fantastic news that with your kind support we were able to continue delivering our specialist project supporting unpaid carers looking after someone approaching the end of their life.
The project is up and running and our End of Life Carers Project Manager, Francis is providing help and support to people at what can only be a difficult time. Supporting people like Zivi, who looked after her husband.
“I was married to a lovely man named Cyril for 35 years. I was his carer for the last 10 years of his life.
He became very anxious and didn't want to do anything anymore. He wouldn't go out without me. I had to do everything for him.
People asked me why I didn’t try and place him in a care home. I could never do that. I loved him.
He (Cyril) was very anxious during the night. As a result, I couldn’t sleep, he woke up many times every night. I was so tired. I was like a zombie! In the day he was reluctant to leave home to do anything. This was hard for me. I’m an outgoing person. I felt trapped!
When I went to meet Francis at Carers Network, it was like a whole world opened up to me. I had somebody that will understand me. I thought he was an Angel, to listen to all my grumbling and come back with ideas, he was fantastic. I wouldn't have known about what a legal power of attorney was without meeting Francis."
Thank you again for your support of this work. We are doing everything we can to ensure that we are able to continue helping carers like Zivi, who have nowhere else to turn.
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