Archive for February 2019

Visiting Loved Ones With Alzheimer’s or Dementia: Do’s & Don’ts

Posted on Feb 15, 2019

It can be quite difficult to experience a loved one who is suffering from early or advanced stage dementia or Alzheimer's Disease. Visiting a friend or family member who is experiencing lapses in memory or changes in behavior due can be challenging, but it is quite meaningful for all involved — the patient and visitor alike. In this piece, we’re going to examine some of the things you’ll want to not do and do when visiting someone suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia.


  • bring up the idea of memory. Asking someone with dementia to recall anything is not polite and may cause immense frustration.
  • use any critical terms. Pointing out failing, mistakes or messes may aggravate someone with cognitive difficulties.
  • talk around them. Always include the patient in any conversation happening in their presence. Speaking as though they can’t hear or understand you is inconsiderate.
  • correct them on inconsequential points. Arguing with someone who is irrational can cause intense frustration for the patient and visitor alike.
  • ask them sensitive questions. Keep all questions simple and inconsequential, giving them plenty of time to answer.


  • schedule visitations appropriately. The idea of “the more, the merrier” does not apply. Too many people can be overwhelming for dementia patients. Keep visitation to one or two people at a time.
  • remove distractions. Televisions, radios, phones and other noise-creating devices should be turned off and stowed away if possible.
  • prepare other visitors. Just as you’re preparing now, make sure that other visitors are sensitive to the needs of the patient. Make sure all preparations are done before arriving for visitation.
  • remain positive. Keep all of your bodily movements intentional and somewhat slower so as not to startle the individual.
  • identify yourself. Even if this is a parent, grandparent, or close friend, make sure to introduce yourself. State your name and your relationship with them. “My name is Marco. I am your nephew.”
  • talk in short, simple sentences. Trying to comprehend longer sentences may be difficult for those with dementia. Keep statements and questions very short and to the point.
  • follow their pace. Guage their mood and level of energy. Never urge them to do something they don’t want to do.
  • give the person affection. If the patient is comfortable with a hug, feel free to give them one. Always ask first and tell them that you are going to hug them so there are no surprises.

At times, you may wonder if the person you’re visiting even realizes that it is you whom they are visiting. Regardless of this, visitations can help those suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia on many different levels.  

Could a Home Funeral Be The Right Choice?

Posted on Feb 07, 2019

Few things in life are certain, but your last wishes should be included amongst those that are. Though your funeral wouldn’t be considered your final sendoff as its an event you won’t consciously attend, deciding how you will be memorialized can bring peace of mind when thinking about death. One funeral option that few consider simply due to its lack of marketing is a home funeral. In this piece, we’ll look at what constitutes a home funeral and if planning to have one will help give you and your loved ones the most meaningful opportunity to say goodbye.

What is a home funeral?

While it may sound like a new-fangled trend, what is called a “home funeral” used to simply be called a “funeral” for most families. Funerals used to almost exclusively take place within the home of the deceased. Instead of professional mortuary specialists caring for the needs of the departed and those left behind, families would take on the responsibility themselves. The resurgence in the desire to take back outsourced duties has resulted also in what is now known as a “home funeral” — a funeral that takes place within a residential space and is sometimes conducted by the family themselves.

Why would one want a home funeral?

Home funerals certainly sound like a lot of work — work that is typically left to trained professionals to relieve the grieving families of such a burden. However, for many individuals and their families, they don’t see the need for personalized care to cease at the moment of death. For the person leaving this world, knowing they will receive a home funeral means that their bodies will be cared for by those who knew them and mourned for in a place familiar to them. This consistent familiarity gives many a great sense of peace and helps ease anxiety about such matters. For the loved ones of the deceased, caring for the body of a loved one could be seen as a continuation of the care they received in life. Home funerals also remove some of the restrictions on time with the deceased for loved ones to say goodbye to the earthly versions of someone. What may not be possible in a commercial funeral home environment (spending extended time with the deceased, certain respectful rituals, etc.) are usually much more possible with a home funeral.

Are there any health hazards associated with having a funeral in one’s home?

One common misconception about home funerals is that having such a display in a residential location may be a health hazard to attendants and mourners. Realistically, home funerals are just as safe and legal as funerals in designated funeral homes, chapels, or other places of significance. To further dispell insecurities about home funerals, there’s also no hard-and-fast rule that the attendants are on their own.  Many licensed funeral professionals are happy to help as little or as much of the process as needed. While some loved ones may feel that taking part in the washing and dressing of a deceased family member or friend may bring additional closure, many are not emotionally prepared for such activities and can leave this to trained professionals. Even though some funeral professionals may not offer help with home funeral arrangements, there typically will always be many more that will than won’t. Even if you elect to not use the body preparation services of a mortuary professional, you may want to seek their assistance for help with legal documentation and transportation of the body to its final resting place.

How can non-professionals care for a deceased loved one?

Even if someone is emotionally prepared to tend to the body of a deceased loved one, some may feel hesitant about having a home funeral because they simply feel materially unprepared. Because caring for the deceased has largely been outsourced to funeral professionals for the last few generations, the art of preparing a body for the next steps has largely been lost to the common person. There was a time when how to care for a deceased loved one was as common knowledge as a favorite family recipe or home remedy for an ailment. Because of renewed interest in home funerals in recent years, a large amount of training material and courses have been developed aimed solely at those wanting to know how to care for deceased loved ones at home. There was even a documentary made that followed a few families during their home funeral processes for loved ones.

Why talk about home funerals now?

For many, there are certain anxieties that surround the treatment of their own earthly remains or the remains of departed loved ones. Investigating the various options and coming to final decisions about such arrangements can help to relieve such anxieties at any stage in life.

As the end of life becomes more evident for a loved one, proper care throughout the process can relieve a great deal of anxiety. It’s for this reason that Cura HPC is dedicated to providing professional and nurturing hospice care for your loved ones.