Care of the Deceased

My priority is that you feel confident and comfortable giving me the responsibility of looking after your loved one.

How we care for the person

Having you assured of our care for the person we are looking after is a top priority.  We know that even though they have died, they are still important and deserve to be treated with respect and attentiveness.  One way we do this is by limiting how much we handle the person.  In most cases we transport them to our place and lay them in the coffin.  There is no undressing or moving around or embalming.

Although I sometimes work alone, I do have help when needed.  I have techniques and equipment that ensure the safe transferring from bed to stretcher to casket.  Once in the casket they remain there.  A person doesn’t need to be dressed or washed.

Sometimes people want to come and see the person here and they are most welcome to do that.  I have found that even in their natural state, rather than embalmed, they are presentable.  

Embalming is something we didn’t want to invest in for several reasons.  More people are simply choosing not to have it done.  They just don’t like the idea.  The procedure itself is incredibly evasive as the blood is drained from the body and the organs punctured in order to fill them with the chemicals.  People have commented that they want to be buried or cremated with their own blood and not these toxins.  The cost of embalming also brings added expense that often is not needed.

The reason why people are embalmed is generally to have more time with the person.  Also there could have been damage to the person that needs to be repaired for viewing.  And it sanitises the person.

Often people comment that the results don’t really look like the person as they remembered. 

Cooling the body
When I place the person in the coffin I have specific cooling pads that help keep cool the person.  They worked very well, even on the hottest days.  The product is called Techni-ice which is highly recommended for their long life, reusability, absence of off-gassing or condensation, size versatility, and ease of use.

The sheets stay effective up to 3-4 hours when used beneath and on top of a cooling body. As the body cools, the time of effectiveness lengthens until, in many cases, it is no longer required. Each sheet can be replaced as necessary with very little disturbance.  

Family Involvement
When looking after the person sometimes families want to be more involved than others.  I am more than happy to work with your choice.  Some want to dress the person or help transfer the person from the bed to the stretcher.  While others don’t want any involvement, preferring to remember the person alive.  We have no preference other than following your decisions.

Although death is not something we face often, I don’t want families to be afraid or nervous around the person.  Death is a natural part of life and the person is still their loved one.

If the family wish to they can may like to use personal pillow and blankets or add other personal affects.  Also they can decorate the casket.  Again, this is completely up to each family to decide for themselves.  For some they have said the goodbyes and choose a direct cremation.

Coffin Holding Room
Where people are kept at SDF

Their accommodation
When the person stays here it is in a room certified by both Nelson and Tasman councils.  Although the room is not intended for public viewing, I have had family come here to visit people if they wish.