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End of Life Issues Funeral Planning When a death occurs while under hospice care: • Call hospice. Hospice will notify the funeral home designated by the family. When a death occurs in a hospital or other care facility: • Staff members usually contact the funeral home designated during the patient admission process. If a funeral home was not designated, the staff should gather information from the family and contact the selected funeral home. When a death occurs outside of the home or a care facility: • Dial 911 for Emergency/First Responders Selecting a Funeral Provider Practices, prices, and services can vary considerably among funeral homes. Whether provider services are immediately needed or you are making prearrangements, take time to consider important details before you make any final decisions. • Ask questions and carefully consider your options. Verify that the funeral home and the directors employed are properly licensed. • Gather information. Call family friends, contact your place of worship, and call local funeral homes and/or visit their web sites for details. • Quality matters. While lower priced merchandise may be available from many sources, note that those sources may not offer product quality guarantees, delivery guarantees, or return/refund options. Also note that funeral homes justifiably may refuse merchandise that is delayed, damaged, or deficient. Meeting with a Funeral Director • Plan ahead. Before meeting with a funeral director, write a list of questions and concerns to discuss, as having an outline will help you stay focused. • Request a comparison of benefits and costs for burial versus cremation, details for a traditional funeral and/or memorial service, merchandise information (such as caskets and urns), and cemetery costs (including plots, vaults, and opening/closing fees.) • Ask for verification of current licenses for funeral directors and facilities. • Be sure to ask about Veterans benefits and services. www.PolkElderCare.com 69


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