Working with Hospice to Plan a Funeral
Most people associate hospice with issues related to end-of-life care, not funeral planning. After all, hospice is supposed to be about coping with terminal illness as a family and enjoying whatever time is left together.
However, because hospice exists to make the transition to death easier, it’s actually quite common for organizations to offer support and resources for funeral planning. The better prepared you are for the aftermath of death—including the social, emotional, spiritual, and financial ramifications—the easier it is to say your goodbyes while you still have time.
Hospice and Funeral Homes
While it is perfectly acceptable for a hospice organization to help its clients with the funeral planning process (specifically with accessing resources and information), it is important to ensure that there are no affiliations or partnerships between hospice and the funeral home you choose. Because hospice organizations are in a position of great power during end-of-life care (usually because they are one of the few resources available, and emotional dependency is high during this time), it would be all too easy for them to push one funeral home over another to the detriment of the client. You should never feel pressured to choose a specific funeral home or funeral services by your hospice team. For more in depth guidance on selecting a funeral service provider, download our guide “7 Insider Tips You Need to Know Before Funeral Planning”
That being said, hospice organizations are very much a part of the funeral community, so they will have great insight into which funeral homes are best suited for your family. Here are a few of the benefits they offer during the funeral planning process.
- Contact with a funeral director: In many cases, a funeral director will be part of the hospice care process. Ideally, these funeral directors are not part of a specific funeral home; rather, they know the ins and outs of the industry and can help you choose the right funeral plan or pre-arrangement option, and to choose between various burial types, cemeteries, and even funeral homes.
- Religious support: The majority of hospice organizations aren’t religiously or culturally affiliated—but that doesn’t mean they’re without resources. They often have a chaplain or other religious official on staff, or have ties to area religious leaders. Because so much of funeral planning is associated with religious traditions, this can be a great resource.
- Scam alerts: No one likes to think they can be taken advantage of during this difficult time, but it can and does happen. Hospice organizations are much more likely to be able to spot a disreputable funeral home or provider than you can on your own.
- Communication: Death requires quite a bit of communication—between you and medical professionals, coroners, medical examiners, funeral directors, clergy, and other professionals. A hospice organization can either put you in touch with the right people or create a plan of action for when death occurs.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, chances are you will come in contact with your local hospice organization. If you are choosing between hospices, or if you are concerned about more than just end-of-life issues to what happens next, be sure and ask about their funeral planning services and ties to the local funeral planning community.
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By Amy Johnson