When I was young I remember asking my older brother about the facts of life…his instant response was “death and income tax.”

I was really hoping for some details about the birds and the bees and yet, although we are often reluctant to talk about death, it is one of the sure things about life that none of us can avoid.

Community Circles are currently working with Suffolk County Council and a variety of community organisations.  One of the organisations is St Nicholas Hospice and they are interested in using one page profiles, for their teams and the people that they support.

One page profiles are a snapshot of a person; rich, detailed information about what matters to a person and what good support looks like.  Here’s a great short video about using one page profiles for patients and a more detailed video that shows how a one page profile can be developed using about six question.

One page profiles are a way of sharing good information that the people around you need to know. For example, if I was receiving home care support, it would be important to share information about my morning routine, what’s important to me about getting ready for the day and how to support me well.  If I was sharing information with my work colleagues, they wouldn’t need to know about my morning routine but they would need to know about how to support me well at work.  There are lots of examples of one page profiles here and stories of the way they have been helpful to people.  Here’s a link to mine too.

Community Circles founding member Max Neill was a great advocate for one page profiles and, when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he continued to use his skills and experiences to explore how one page profiles could be useful to support people at the end of their life.  Max adapted the one page profile to consider the changes as he neared the end of his life, thinking about what mattered to him and what good support looked like when he had months to live, weeks to live and days to live.

Max is missed terribly but his gift of learning and sharing continues to live on and support us in our work.

According to Fiona Murphy, Director of Nursing, using one page profiles in end of life care has absolutely enhanced patient experience as it gives the patient and their family some control in their end of life care.  She shares that one page profiles can support an inclusive experience, involving family members and prevents families from having to repeat the same information over and over again; in her words “one page profiles are like sprinkling fairy dust.”

When my Mum was nearing the end of her life, we had conversations about what mattered to her and I remember an hysterical conversation about what to wear in the coffin and whether underwear was a requirement for heaven.  End of life was probably something that I would have preferred not to talk about with my Mum but I have really fond memories of that conversation and it still makes me smile.

If you would like to develop your own one page profile, for any purpose, there are templates you can download here.