Yesterday marked the start of Men’s Health Week, an annual event that encourages men to get thinking and talking about their health, from eating well and keeping active to spotting early signs of illness. Taking active steps now to improve your health is incredibly important, but so is looking ahead and planning for the future, something that is often left out of conversations around men’s health. Indeed, of the people who have recently contacted Compassion in Dying to enquire about planning ahead, just 20% were men.

Considering your future treatment and recording your wishes is essential if you want to stay in control of your health, both for men and women alike.

No matter how good your current health and fitness, an unexpected accident or illness could cause you to lose capacity in future.

If you have not planned ahead, then it is a doctor who will make decisions about what treatment you do or don’t receive – not your loved ones. Recording your wishes in an Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment, or appointing someone to make decisions for you by making a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare, are two ways to ensure you remain in control of these choices.

Planning ahead in these ways can improve your wellbeing now: by giving you peace of mind that your wishes will be respected if you later become unable to communicate them yourself. It can also help safeguard your future: by helping to ensure you get the treatment and care that’s right for you so you can have the best death possible.

Compassion in Dying has just made it easier than ever to plan ahead with our new Advance Decision form. It’s free, easy and straightforward to complete, and you can contact our free Information Line if you need more support.

This Men’s Health Week, whether you’re finally signing up to that gym ahead of the summer, or getting clued up on how to check yourself, take a few minutes to think about your future health as well. If you want control over your own health now, plan ahead to ensure it stays that way.