Monday, January 17, 2011
I was recently asked by a patient’s family member what they need to prepare for should their loved one pass away and they need to transport the body to their family home. While I have encountered this issue for a patient who died and was cremated (the family carried the urn with them on the flight as a carry-on) I surprised myself in realizing that neither I, nor my informal survey of several geriatric and palliative care colleagues knew the answer. I suspect that, ultimately, most palliative care social workers and, certainly, directors of mortuaries and funeral homes can provide the answer this family member needed. But I decided I needed to learn how to answer this important question myself.