Monday, 10 September 2012 08:21
Pharmacists in Limerick are encouraging the public to learn more about the Think Ahead initiative, which is being piloted in the county, and to pick up a free form in any Limerick pharmacy.
Think Ahead is being rolled out in Limerick with a view to a national campaign next year. Developed by the Forum on End of Life in Ireland – an initiative of the Irish Hospice Foundation - the Think Ahead pilot was launched by name on 3 September. The project involves people thinking about and recording their wishes in the event of an emergency, serious illness or death.
A Think Ahead form has been developed for people to use in capturing this important information and will be available free. The Irish Pharmacy Union is one of a number of influential bodies supporting the initiative.
The Limerick pilot is being organised in conjunction with the Compassionate Communities project of Milford Care Centre, which is working with the community to engage people in conversation and action around death, dying, loss and care.
People in Limerick are being asked to fill out their forms and talk to their families about their wishes by Friday, 30 November, when the pilot officially ends.
Limerick Pharmacist John Gleeson, Treasurer of the Irish Pharmacy Union, said, "The Irish Pharmacy Union is delighted to be involved in this very important initiative, which has been widely supported by pharmacists in Limerick. The community pharmacist is the most accessible element of the health services and a trusted advisor on healthcare issues. Promoting this initiative through pharmacies will ensure that as wide an audience as possible will receive information and guidance to assist individuals and their loved ones to adequately plan for serious illness or death in a caring and dignified manner."
The Think Ahead initiative was developed based on feedback from members of the public, during a year-long public consultation between 2009 and 2010. Think Ahead will engage all members of the public - young and old, those who are healthy and those living with illness.
The concept of Think Ahead was launched by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny in October 2011. Limerick was then chosen as the site of a pilot programme, which will run from September to November 2012. A pilot is also being run in Co Louth. The national Think Ahead campaign will be rolled out in January 2013.
During the pilot in Limerick, Think Ahead forms will be available from pharmacies and Citizen Information Centres. A media campaign is being organised with advertising in newspapers and on radio.
The Think Ahead form will also allow people to record the location of key legal and financial documents and approve the donation of their organs and a hospital post-mortem in the event of their death. The Think Ahead form and useful related guidance and resources are available on www.thinkahead.ie.
For more information, please contact:
Caroline Lynch, Head of Communications and Advocacy, The Irish Hospice Foundation, Tel: 087 123 7586
Kirana Bhagwan, Communications Coordinator, The Irish Hospice Foundation, Tel: 087 654 8915