Presenting to Hospice Providers

An Interview with Joe E. Pray, Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte, MI


Q. Why did you sign up to be a BeRemembered Preferred Partner?

Joe: “I saw that was a useful tool for the families we served, and families in general. It dovetails quite well with things that we are trying to do in our funeral home, such as incorporate memories and stories with family’s needs to create a meaningful and helpful service. We saw that BeRemembered was a perfect fit.

Q. How did you reach out to healthcare providers in the community about BeRemembered?

Joe: “We contacted local hospice organizations that we work with. In our small community there are 8-10 hospice organizations. We felt that it would be helpful to the families that they serve. We know that these companies will serve families that our firm doesn’t get the chance to serve, and that’s a wonderful thing.

“We had our own experience when my wife’s grandmother died. She had been diagnosed with liver cancer and it was quickly progressing. She had been taken care of at home by our local hospice and they were doing a great job. Our family was all gathered around and there were so many stories that they talked about. For example, my wife’s grandfather, her husband, would talk about some of the things when they were first married. They pulled out pictures from the photo albums. As I sat there, I thought, ‘We ought to be recording this and writing this down.’

“Unfortunately, we didn’t do a lot of recording. We are able to remember it, but didn’t have a place to write it all down. We talked about it, but nobody did it. Now that we have a tool like BeRemembered, I can see how it would be so much more helpful.

“I had talked to some of the chaplains at the local hospices over the years, and they said that it would really be nice if we could have something to sit down and chat with families about and record some of these stories.

“You know, as I sit with families to talk about their stories and their lives, it’s surprising to me how many can’t remember the details of these stories, even what grandmother’s maiden name was. So we talked to the hospice professionals about how they have the opportunity to chat with families, from chaplains to volunteers and what about using BeRemembered as a way to record those memories. And the hospice organizations I’ve spoken to really like that idea.

“One hospice I approached said that we’ve been talking about doing exactly this for some time, but it never got off the ground, and they saw as the perfect tool for that.

“Our approach has really been that simple – just sharing our own personal story of, ‘Gee, I wish we would have written those stories down.’ And now we are.”

Q: How did your hospice meetings go and what are the next steps?

Joe: “The reaction from the first two meetings that we had with hospice organizations has been extremely positive. We talked about the continuum of care, because they are always taking care of patient needs and advocating for patients. We talked about how BeRemembered not only helps when the patient is in hospice, but also how it continues care beyond, so that we can help create a meaningful celebration or memorial.

“The hospice professionals were excited that they could have their own staff members use it because it is so positive. In fact, both hospice organizations started to determine and discuss that using BeRemembered would be the job of this person or that person – to simply sit down and have a chat with families and help them fill in some of the blanks and collecting the stories.”

To learn more about Pray Funeral Home, visit their website by clicking here!