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Experience has shown us that a consensus-based organization built upon respect, education and openness leads to successful results. IFC recommends these general guidelines for establishing an end-of-life care group. For more information, tools and resources, visit the Resources and Workshops pages of this site.
Educate yourself and your community
Become familiar with all federal, state (DPHE) and local statutes regarding care and disposition of the body.
Communicate with your local coroner, health department, hospice and county clerk regarding care and transport of the deceased, as well as completion of documents and types of disposition available within your locale – i.e. cremation, green or traditional burial.
Set up opportunities for educational training so that all EOL volunteers gain knowledge-based confidence in their skills. ‘Cross training’ is important so that all members have a familiarity with the entire process.
Create clear guidelines or an operational ‘scaffolding’ to ensure that all areas of the organization’s activity are addressed accurately, but still have the space to reflect the uniqueness of each circumstance.
Begin community outreach
It is important to establish a broad constituency, including those who wish to participate directly with the EOL group and those who support EOL efforts.
When working with those in positions of authority, it is important to take a non-adversarial attitude, focusing on both parties’ wish to serve the family and the deceased.
Develop a community education format to provide information regarding end-of-life choices, advance directives and related documents.
Every aspect of this service can be rooted in selflessness, mindfulness and clarity of intention and action.
The three branches of this work are: Vision of Service, Administration, and Hands-On Service to the deceased and their families.
We strongly suggest that any end-of-life group be non-profit and provide services regardless of payment.