It’s not a subject most of us want to think about too much – but one thing we know is that we will all die one day.
For people in South Tyneside, next week brings a unique chance to consider the end of our own lives – where would we choose to die, and what do we want our families to do when the time comes?
South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – the organisation that plans and buys most NHS healthcare services for the borough – is inviting residents to a special event to talk about issues around end of life, in an open and relaxed setting.
“In the 21st century, we’re really not good at talking about death, and it’s a shame,” says Paul Cuskin, Chair of the CCG’s Patient Reference Group, which helps local people get involved in NHS issues.
“It’s common for people to lose a family member and then realise that they don’t know enough about what their loved one wanted, what type of funeral they would have liked, what their Will arrangements are, or practical things like what happens to their pet.
“So this is a chance to get together with like-minded people and just talk about these things, in a safe atmosphere. It’s not about getting gloomy or sad – we want to have a positive look at things so that we can think ahead and then get on with enjoying our lives.
“It’s a completely open discussion with no strings attached – in fact the only thing that’s definitely on the agenda is coffee and cake!”
The event – known as a Death Café – takes place on Wednesday 5 February, 2 – 4pm at Hebburn Central, Glen Street, NE31 1AB. It’s the latest in a series of ‘Let’s Talk’ events organised by South Tyneside CCG to consider healthcare-related issues, which take place every two months and are advertised at www.southtynesideccg.nhs.uk.
Everyone is welcome to attend, with no advance booking needed. For more information, contact Jane Leighton at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0191 283 1904.