COVID - 19 & Funeral Pre-Planning
Many families with relatives in hospitals and long term care facilities in Ontario have recently had something unusual asked of them. Patients and residents have been told that they must make arrangements with a funeral home or transfer service in the event of a death. Shockingly to some, this applies for patients and residents who are not in critical or palliative situations. Why is this happening now?
These new measures are designed to combat the COVID - 19 pandemic. Tragically, countries like Italy and the United States are grim reminders of what occurs when funeral and cemetery systems are unprepared for a surging number of deaths. The government of Ontario does not wish for this to happen here. Consequently, the following changes have been mandated:
- Families with relatives in hospitals and long term care facilities have been instructed to make prearrangements with a funeral home or transfer service in the event of a death.
- A hospital notifies the funeral home or transfer service when someone passes and the funeral home picks them up within one hour, when possible.
- A long term care facility follows the same procedure, but has an extended timeline of three hours.
With these procedures in place, the Ontario government hopes to avoid the situations faced by other countries. You might be wondering why this is important enough to inconvenience families who have relatives in good health at these facilities. In brief it is to alleviate the strain placed on frontline workers. More specifically it allows hospitals to dedicate resources to living patients. During a surge, the management of the deceased is resource intensive. Hospitals have limited morgue space, meaning they would need to make arrangements to have the deceased held offsite. The alternative is that the deceased take up hospital beds needed for the sick. This would make the jobs of nurses and doctors that much harder. Without the measures that have been put in place, those responsible for hospital logistics would be focusing on the deceased, rather than the living.
So how do you make pre-arrangements? It is actually quite simple. In the case of CremationCare, all we require is basic information about the person the arrangements are for and the next of kin. You can then give the hospital or long term care facility our contact information. This is all they require. You can also take care of everything in advance by pre-paying the services.
If you would like to get started, please contact us by phone at 416-255-0035, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.