Before a cremation in Bellingham, WA, take place, if your loved one was under the care of a home hospice agency at the time of death, there is a process that both you and your family and the home hospice agency go through to ensure respectful and proper transfer of your loved one from home to the funeral home.
Your loved one can be admitted into home hospice care for a singular health problem that is serious enough that death is expected within three to six months or when they no longer want to seek medical treatment.
Home hospice will make the initial visit for consultation with you and your family and your loved one who is sick (if they are able to participate) with a nurse, at the very minimum. A social worker and chaplain from the home hospice agency may accompany the nurse on this visit, or they may come at another time after your loved one is enrolled in home hospice care.
The home hospice nurse will do all the paperwork necessary to get your loved one admitted into hospice care. Any medications that your loved one is currently taking for the illness or disease they are being admitted for will be supplied by hospice (usually within 24 hours). All other prescriptions for other conditions and illnesses must still be approved by your loved one’s primary care physician and filled by the pharmacy (under insurance).
The home hospice nurse, as part of the home hospice admission, will order a comfort care kit. This is overnighted to the your loved one’s home and contains the end-of-life medications, such as morphine, that will keep the patient comfortable as death approaches and happens.
The home hospice agency will also arrange for any medical equipment needed, such as oxygen, hospital beds, walkers, and portable toilets, to be delivered to the patient’s home.
After admission to home hospice, your loved will be visited by a rotation of hospice nurses. Depending on how near death is, visits can range from once a week to two or three times a day. If needed, the home hospice agency will also provide aides to help with bathing and dressing. They average two to three visits a week, so you and your family will provide the rest of these needs on days when aides don’t visit.
When your loved one begins to actively die, the home hospice nurse will begin a morphine administration schedule, which you and your family will be responsible for administering. Usually, morphine doses start small and on an elongated schedule, but as death gets closer, the doses increase, and the schedule is altered to more frequent administration. Also included in the comfort care kit are other items that will make your loved one more comfortable as they die.
The home hospice nurse will most likely not be present when your loved one dies. However, the hospice agency is the first phone call you will make. A nurse will respond quickly and officially pronounce your loved dead and will call the time of death.
After that the nurse will call the funeral home for transport and will clean and dress your loved one for the trip to the funeral home. Once your loved one is taken to the funeral home, the home hospice nurse will dispose of all the medications that the home hospice agency provided. This will include all the medications for the hospice illness and all the contents of the comfort care kit.
For information about cremation in Bellingham, WA, our compassionate and experienced team at Moles Farewell Tributes & Crematory – Greenacres Memorial Park is here to help.