Dying to talk webinar organised as part of Positive Ageing Month 

13th September 2021

As part of this year’s Positive Ageing Month programme, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, in partnership with Western Health and Social Care Trust, Integrated Care Partnership, Public Health Agency and Compassionate Communities is delivering a regional webinar to raise awareness on the importance of starting conversations around dying. The event will take place online on Wednesday 13 October 2021 from 10.30 am to 12 noon.

Speaking about the event, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Councillor Errol Thompson said;

“Death is a topic of conversation which few of us broach voluntarily. Addressing our own mortality is not easy. However, it is an inescapable fact that it will at some stage come to us all and I am delighted that the Council, in collaboration with the other partners, is taking a proactive approach to this difficult and emotive subject through this webinar.

“Dying to talk” will afford participants the opportunity to listen to experts talk about how we can be prepared for death, be that physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially and digitally. I would encourage as many people as possible to sign up to this unique event.”

With an increasing number of people going online it is important that we consider how our devices and cloud storage accounts are full of personal information.  Psychologist and author of All the Ghosts in the Machine: Illusions of Immortality in the Digital Age Elaine Kasket will help us to understand our digital legacy and what happens to this information after we are gone.  Speakers on the day will also explore other aspects of planning for your end of life and help you to normalise and introduce these conversations with friends and family.

Tiernach Mahon Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh Integrated Care Partnership.

‘No matter who we are in life, death comes to us all.  The ICPs are taking forward key elements of the Palliative Care in Partnership work through Trust Locality Boards and through this workshop, aim to cascade a public health approach, normalising End of Life as a natural part of living’.

Adele Dunn, Public Health Agency (PHA), commenting on the event said;

“PHA has funded Age Friendly Officers within councils across Northern Ireland to implement the WHO Age Friendly model, through collaborative working. The current project is a great example of how cross-departmental working can promote a public health approach on remits which are often difficult to tackle. We welcome ‘Dying to Talk’ as an opportunity to explore the public health approach to end of life care further and thank you to Fermanagh and Omagh District Council for taking the lead on this regional initiative.”

Sharon Williams, Project Facilitator of Compassionate Communities is one of the partner organisations for the event.  With an ever-increasing ageing population who are living with complex health needs, Sharon highlights the need to raise the profile of ‘end of life as part of life’ and how planning for this stage of life can help people stay in control when they are dying.

Sharon explains what a ‘good death’ is, ‘A good death is possible when you plan for it.  Putting your house in order by writing your will, taking care of your funeral plans and registering your care preferences in an advance care plan improves the probability that your choices are actioned.  When a person has made plans, they are often emotionally and spiritually in a better place when dealing with a diagnosis.  Plans also help families deal with a health crisis relieving a little of the stress and anxiety.’

A project by South West Age Partnership (SWAP), the older peoples network in the Fermanagh and Omagh District area will be showcased at the event.  ‘Forget me Not’ is a Junk Journal Workshop by Cruising Quilter in which participants will create their own time capsule, a bespoke journal to capture treasured memories.  This project aims to normalise conversations about your end of life in a light hearted approach using the medium of art and craft.

The webinar is part of Positive Ageing October and is a regional event through Age Friendly Network NI.

To reserve a place on “Dying to Talk” please click on the Eventbrite: Dying to Talk link here or visit the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council website at www.fermanaghomagh.com/communityservices/agefriendly