Judy MacDonald Johnston is not a geriatrician, her knowledge of having a good end of life comes from her experiences, and her knowledge from a qualitative study done in the USA. In her TED X talk she relates her time with Shirley and Jim, married for 68 years, and facing their final days. They had no children and neither of them had siblings.
Judy became their Trustee and Medical Advocate, and managed their end of life experiences. She agrees that at the end of our lives bodily functions and independence decline, but she believes that qualify of life can remain high with a plan, and the right people around you.
Judy recommends 5 Practices to prepare for a good end of life :
- Make a Plan – answer some straight forward questions about the end you want,
- Recruit Advocates – having more than one ensures you will get what you want;
- Be Hospital Ready – this is critical
- Choose care givers – this will be dependent on your finances and having the right people to choose from;
- Discuss last words – what do you want to hear and from whom
Finally, Judy realises this topic normally inspires fear and denial but believes if we put some time into planning our end of life we will have the best chance of maintaining a quality of life.
Download Practice Sheets from Judy’s website
You can watch her YouTube video here