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End of life planning


End of life planning can help us prepare for the future. By spending a little time now, we can relieve the decision-making burden on the people we love and create the opportunity for a peaceful end of life.

Simple steps to take now 

1. Consider legal and financial matters:

  • Make a will, get legal advice if necessary.
  • Think about the costs; consider insurance, a funeral plan.
  • Plan for the care of dependents.

2. Save other lives - through organ donation:

  • If you want to donate any organs to save other lives or leave your brain or body to medical research, e.g. to help with dementia, write it down and tell your family.

3. Make a plan for what you want when you die:

  • The type of care you would like towards the end of your life.
  • Where you would like to die.
  • Whether you have any particular worries you would like to discuss about being ill and dying.
  • Whether you want to be resuscitated or not.

4. Plan your funeral arrangements:

  • What do you want, burial, cremation, green funeral, other?
  • Any service, memorial service, wake, celebration of your life.
  • What songs, messages, themes?

5. Tell your loved ones your wishes:

  • Talk to your loved ones and let them know your wishes.
  • What would you like people to know before you die?
  • Think about creating messages, memory boxes, videos for loved ones.

It is important to think about all the things you want well in advance, talk to your loved ones, write it down and keep it safe.

Useful links

Additional support for people with sensory loss 

Hospice care

  • Butterwick Hospice - caring for as many people as possible of all ages who are living with a progressive life limiting illness. Services are provided free of charge to those diagnosed and to their loved ones.
  • St Oswald’s Hospice - providing specialist palliative care to adults, children and young people from the North East of England.
  • St Cuthbert's Hospice - providing specialist palliative and end of life care to all those in Durham affected by life-limiting illnesses, at a time and a place that is right for them.
Contact us
First Contact/Social Care Direct
03000 267 979
0191 383 5752
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