Most people (71%) haven’t planned for end of life care, according to new Which? Later Life Care research. We’ve also uncovered a concerning lack of awareness of options for this care. Which? Later Life Care surveyed over 3,000 people to understand what arrangements people have in place for their own end of life care, or that of a loved one and discovered a concerning lack of awareness of options for arranging end of life care.
Only 31% of people, for instance, correctly believed that hospice care is free for all. Which? Later Life Care surveyed 3,121 people to understand the arrangements they have for their own end of life care, or that of a loved one, between 3 and 14 January 2019. Furthermore, , just under two-thirds (62%) of those who had never been involved in arranging hospice care were unaware that hospices could provide care at home as well as in the hospice.
Which? Later Life Care is urging people to plan ahead for their end of life care.
Which? managing director of public markets, advises: ‘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.’
Commenting on new research from Which? George McNamara, Director of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age, said:
“End-of-life care remains a taboo subject. It is concerning to see that many of us value sorting our finances out much more than the kind of care and support we would want during our final weeks and days. Health and social care professionals have a role to play, but as a society we need to change the way we think and act about end-of-life care. Sensitively having such conversations can make all the difference. Better planning for the end of your life could make a huge difference, both to the person who’s dying and to their family, enabling them to better deal with their grief and experience fewer symptoms of post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety.
“Unfortunately, we know that people aged 65 and over, despite being the age group most likely to die, are less likely to receive end-of-life care. Lack of end-of-life care means they are more likely to be in pain at the time of their death than younger people, and people with dementia are particularly unlikely to receive good end-of-life care.
“It’s essential that older people and their families make plans for the end of life, and talk to each other about what those plans are, so there are no surprises. Independent Age offers a free advice guide on planning for the end of life, to help people think through what needs to be done.”