1.1 million Medicare beneficiaries died while enrolled in hospice care in 2017, per the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Facts and Figures report. With more people dying under the care of hospice teams, it’s more important than ever for your funeral home to make connections with hospice.
Hospice teams are some of the most important people to collaborate with, as they also work in end-of-life care. By working together, funeral directors and hospice caregivers can educate their community about their end-of-life options. This way, it benefits everyone involved — your funeral home’s staff, hospice teams, and, most importantly, families.
Below are three simple ways that funeral homes and hospice teams can work together.
Share Educational Resources with Hospice Teams
An easy way to collaborate is to share resources. For example, you can share resources to help hospice caregivers when discussing funerals and grief with families. Or, share resources they can give to families or post on their hospice center’s social media pages and website.
When choosing resources, consider what information families with a loved one under hospice care would find useful. For instance, topics like funeral planning and anticipatory grief would be beneficial for families to learn about. You can even team up to do an online FAQ or Q&A segment.
Also, don’t forget that sharing goes both ways! Hospice teams can give funeral directors crucial insight about a family’s loved one — which will make funeral planning much easier and more personalized when the time comes.
Host Community Events Together
Another way you can work together is to co-host community events. It can be an educational seminar about funeral planning or a death café to discuss death and grief. Or, it can be something more long-term like a grief support program or an annual remembrance event.
By working together, you’ll have double the resources and guests to invite. In turn, it’s also more exposure for your funeral home and more potential client families. Plus, having more people on your event planning committee will make dividing up tasks much easier. To learn more about event planning, download our free event planning eBook.
Depending on the topic, you also can print handouts of your educational resources mentioned above. Or, tell them where they can find the information online, whether it’s your website or social media pages.
Create an Open Line of Communication
Ultimately, working with hospice helps create an open line of communication about hospice patients and their end-of-life care. In the first episode of the NFDA’s podcast A Brush with Death, Sara Moss shared how funeral directors and hospice teams should not only do this but be flexible and offer care that goes above and beyond.
Some ways to do this are by teaming up on events and sharing resources as we mentioned above. However, working together also can help make the transition from working with hospice to your funeral home less overwhelming.
Since families have trusted hospice caregivers to care for their loved one, they’ll likely take their opinion into account when choosing a funeral home. By partnering with your local hospice center, you can show families why they should choose your funeral home.