The gifts hospices provide funeral homes

The gifts hospices provide funeral homes

Hospice professionals spending time with patient.Articles about the care and support that hospices provide families can be easily found. But it’s difficult to find an article from a funeral director’s perspective about the gifts hospices provide – although all of us know the immense value provide as part of their commitment to the families they serve.

Explaining when it’s time

One of the most difficult conversations a hospice chaplain or social worker must have is the one telling the family it is time to make cremation or burial arrangements (if they haven’t already). Some families are simply not ready – and will never be ready – to make that important call. Hospices professionals know how much more difficult it is when the family waits until after their loved one passes to make a decision, especially for someone who passes at home. By encouraging families to make arrangements in advance, hospice professionals help prepare families.

An advocate for the families

There are times when a family needs an extra voice to assist them in taking the first step to make arrangements. It’s not uncommon for hospice professionals to sit by a loved one’s side when they start making cremation arrangements. Sometimes it’s as little as dialing the phone for them. Other times they will stay on the entire arrangement call, supporting the family through every step.

Making the death notification call

When a loved one passes, someone has to call the funeral home or cremation provider to inform them that the death occurred. Hospice professional will make this difficult call on behalf of the family. In the case of home deaths in Texas and California, if the loved one is under hospice care, it is the hospice nurse or physician who will pronounce the death. Until this occurs, the funeral home or cremation service provider cannot take the patient into our care so hospice involvement is critical.

Helping during the transition

In a situation when someone dies at home, there are a lot of variables the funeral home or cremation service provider needs to know. The size of the deceased person, where they are located in the house, what “obstacles” might be encountered at the home (such as winding stairways) are just a couple of the things that can make taking someone into our care more difficult. Hospice professionals play a huge role in helping us make sure we can provide a dignified transition by alerting the service provider so they can be prepared.

Another wonderful gift hospice professionals provide is comfort and assistance to the family as the body is removed. It can be an awkward situation for families, especially when they are at a home. Frequently they do not know if they should stay with their loved one or whether to leave. Frequently, the caring hospice professionals will keep the family company in another room so the funeral professionals can prepare the body for removal.

Although National Hospice Month has come to a close, I want to thank (again) all the wonderful hospice professionals who take such incredible care of the families we serve.


aCremation specializes in direct cremation in Texas and direct cremation in California. Our trained professionals will be more than happy to answer any questions you have about the process. aCremation currently serves Texas (Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio) and California (Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco). We invite you to call us, toll-free, at 1-877-353-3626.

Mary Beth Barnett

Mary Beth Barnett is a licensed Funeral Director in Texas. Her involvement with aCremation began before our doors opened – researching how we could provide affordable cremations and still keep quality and service standards high. Through this process, she developed a passion for working with families who are going through one of the most stressful phases of life – planning for death.

  • Colleen Weaver
    Posted at 18:57h, 06 May Reply

    Hello Mary Beth!!

    Is there anything a CNA-MA who’s been in Hospice for 13 years, can do to be hired by a Funeral home?
    Appreciate any info!

    • Mary Beth Barnett
      Posted at 20:20h, 20 May Reply

      Thank you for responding. Each funeral home has their own structure as you are probably aware. For example, some establishment have their own chaplain on staff while others use local ministers. I’m not sure where you live but my suggestion would be to start visiting with the homes near you and finding out their structure and needs. Sorry to not be able to give you a more specific answer but it really varies by funeral home.

  • Ann P. Stone
    Posted at 16:32h, 07 May Reply

    Must I sign with a mortuary provided by my husband’s hospice?? We’re in California.

    Why can’t I choose a mortuary on my own?

Post A Comment

Free Online Quote