Setting goals for 2019

New year resolution

Regular TFN blogger Dan Mushens reveals both his personal and professional goals for the new year

15th January 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Like many people, I’m starting 2019 with some resolutions and goals I’d like to work towards during the next 12 months. Last year was quite successful with dry January lasting until late April and I completed more writing tasks than ever before.

However this year not only have I got some personal goals to keep me busy like finally finding the source of the dampness that appears on the bathroom ceiling every couple of months, but I’ve got a list of work-related goals to tick-off as well.

The service user group I work with are those diagnosed with alcohol related brain damage (ARBD) and although some bias might be apparent here, my colleagues are a really committed group that consistently achieve excellent outcome focused work.

Dan Mushens

Dan Mushens

Some of my goals include trying to better document the lived experiences of the people we support and to build a body of qualitative data to raise further awareness of ARBD. Maybe this could involve recording peoples own unique recovery stories and experiences in a video format to share online.

I’d also like to look at promoting new types of assistive technology to help people better manage their daily lives. Devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo for example are interactive speakers. They are advertised as being virtual assistants that give audio reminders and can answer random questions or help with managing appointments. At face value, it seems they could greatly aid the lives of people with memory and cognitive deficits, such as sufferers of ARBD.

Another key area I’d like to expand upon relates to advance planning and having discussions about end of life arrangements. Supporting people to research and purchase funeral plans or life insurance policies is something I’ve done occasionally as and when someone has requested it.

I’d like to formalise and transfer these types of discussions into a document, leaflet or worksheet with information about things such as life insurance, funeral plans, organ donation and making a will etc, but to also include anticipatory care planning options.

Anticipatory care plans record the wishes of a person’s preferred actions, interventions or responses that care providers should make following a clinical deterioration or a crisis in a person’s care or support.

Things to consider in advance might include designating a Power of Attorney to make decisions on your behalf. These powers are in relation to two areas; finances and property, and health, personal care and welfare. They can act as a safeguard in the event that someone’s capacity to make informed decisions becomes impaired.

Considerations are also given to Advance Statements (sometimes referred to as a Living Will) which allows you to detail any treatments you would prefer not to receive should you become ill in the future.

End of life care and support preferences and personal views on resuscitation are also encouraged to be documented. This toolkit of downloadable resources is a concise starting point for anyone wanting to explore this further.

2019 may have only just started but it’s good to have ideas about what you’d like to achieve by the time it comes to an end.

Dan Mushens is a recovery practitioner for Scottish mental health charity Penumbra