Speaker Announcement: Zoe Harris

Future care planning made easy

Zoe Harris traces the journey from a simple wall chart to the development of the My Future Care Handbook, a comprehensive resource aimed at facilitating personalised future care planning for individuals as they approach later life. Using personal stories about caring for her late husband living with advanced dementia, and then for her late mother, Zoe highlights the pivotal role of sharing essential information to enable quality care and humanising the healthcare experience.

The evolution of the wall chart into the Mycarematters profile, a digital platform for documenting needs and preferences, underscores the importance of accessible and comprehensive information in healthcare settings. Zoe emphasises the need for early engagement in advance care planning, dispelling misconceptions and stigmas surrounding discussions about future care and end-of-life preferences.

Drawing from extensive research and feedback, the My Future Care Handbook is a user-friendly guide covering all the topics we should consider as we approach later and end of life. Through colour coding and QR codes linking to online resources, the Handbook provides a structured approach to navigating complex decisions. Real-life examples and case studies illustrate the impact of the Handbook in empowering individuals to take an active role in their care journey.

Recognising the challenges of navigating care planning alone, Zoe introduces the Buddy Service—a support programme designed to assist individuals in developing personalised action plans using the Handbook as a guide. The success of the pilot programme underscores the value of tailored support in facilitating informed decision-making.

Expanding beyond individual support, Zoe discusses the importance of collaboration with organisations and community groups to reach a broader audience. Through training sessions and ongoing support, these partnerships aim to equip staff and volunteers with the necessary skills and confidence to initiate and facilitate meaningful conversations about future care planning.

Zoe emphasises the importance of community support in empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their future care. By fostering a culture of proactive planning and open dialogue, the My Future Care project seeks to enable people to retain / regain a sense of control over their lives, live their best life possible and experience a good death.

To learn more attend the ACP Conference