Newham residents will benefit from advice and support on ‘End of Life’ planning, thanks to the launch of the Council’s new MyWishes online platform.
MyWishes, commissioned by the Council and tested with residents, can be used to document and share future care and ‘end of life’ choices. The aim is to ensure wishes are understood and followed should a resident lose capacity to make decisions or communicate them. Planning in advance is the best way to help reduce the administrative confusion and stress experienced by loved ones after a death.
Cllr Neil Wilson, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “Death remains a taboo subject in society, meaning that many people are uncomfortable with or unsure about discussing what will happen with their affairs after they pass.
“This platform will make it far easier for Newham residents to make plans in advance and will relieve much of the stress and difficulty faced by loved ones following a bereavement.”
MyWishes empowers residents to make ‘Advance Care Plans’ for their health and social care preferences. It also enables residents to document what they would like to happen with their physical property and their digital content (sometimes referred to as ‘digital assets’).
Other features include documenting funeral wishes, writing or recording a self-authored obituary, making plans and leaving goodbye messages to family and friends to be published after death.
After tasks have been completed residents can print their documents at home and email them to loved ones, their GP and anyone who might be involved with their care in the future. The platform is free and has been adapted to better support residents. It has the support of a number of key local charities operating across Newham.
To accompany the platform, the Council has co-designed a Planning Ahead leaflet supporting residents to better understand the options available to them to plan ahead for their future care and for after their death. This is something all of us can do – it is never too early – you do not need to wait until you are unwell or over a certain age.
Planning and Preparing for Later Life is one of the five priority areas of Newham’s Ageing Well Strategy, which provides a comprehensive approach to improving the health and wellbeing of residents aged 50 and above. The Council is committed to supporting residents as they age and making plans for later life and after death is a crucial part of that process.