After death, family members or close friends may choose to assist in washing and dressing the body. Caring for one's body is difficult and can elicit strong emotions. Many people seek assistance from healthcare providers and funeral directors. They find comfort and assurance in entrusting the body to those who offer cremation services in Blue Ash, OH. The deceased may have left instructions for their after-death care to be handled by the health care team and funeral home of their choice. Others follow religions that consider body care to be a family responsibility. Their faith community, elders, or neighbors offer guidance and support for hands-on body care. For some, this is a way of honoring the person, a final act of kindness.
Body Washing, Dressing, and Positioning
Washing and dressing the body is an intimate and respectful act. Those who were most involved in the person's physical care may be most at ease doing so. Respect for the person's modesty must be maintained.
Cleaning and positioning the body is best done where death happens before rigor mortis sets in, whether the person died at home, in a hospital, hospice, or nursing home. Rigor mortis occurs between two and seven hours after death. Regardless of the location of care, four to six people may be required to assist in gently moving and turning the body.
You can wash the body in a regular bed at home. A hospital bed or narrow table, on the other hand, will make the task easier. Place absorbent pads or towels beneath the body because they may release fluids or waste after death. It is critical to take precautions to avoid contact with the person's blood and bodily fluids. Wear disposable gloves while moving, repositioning, and washing the body, and thoroughly wash your hands. Washing the person's body after death is analogous to bathing the person while he or she is ill.
Dress or cover the body according to personal preferences or cultural norms. A shirt or dress may be cut up the center of the back from the bottom to just below the collar, but not through the neckline or collar. Insert the arms into the sleeves first, followed by the neck opening, tucking the sides under the body on each side.
Make sure the arms are parallel to the body and the legs are straight. Lower the head of the bed to the flat position if the person is in a hospital bed with the head raised.
If a funeral home is assisting with the funeral, cremation, or burial, contact them to arrange for the body's transport to their facility. If the death occurred in a hospital, hospice, or long-term care facility, the staff will arrange for the body to be picked up by your preferred funeral home. Once the family agrees, the body is transferred to the morgue and kept there until it is transported to the funeral home. If your family is planning a home funeral or burial, dress the deceased in light clothing to keep them as cool as possible. A fan, air conditioning, dry ice, or an open window in the room where the body is placed will aid in its preservation. Call or visit our cremation services in Blue Ash, OH to speak with our licensed professionals about providing care when death is near or after death.