A Question From Selected's
Electronic Discussion Group
Yesterday we conducted a visitation and calling hours for a close personal friend of our family. The surviving husband suffers from a number of health issues, one being memory loss. The daughter wanted us to have each arriving visitor put on a name tag. This would allow him to easily remember who was in the receiving line, and allow him to call them by name. Thus it avoided his feelings of embarrassment of not being able to recall lifelong friend's names. Everyone knows of his health issues. I was amazed that every person who entered the funeral home graciously complied with our request, many even saying “What a great idea!” As we knew many of the visitors, I was amazed at how many people commented to us as they departed, “You all think of everything.” No, it was a caring daughter who brought this idea forward to our team. It was also great to be able to call all our guest’s yesterday by first and last name. I think we may be moving this idea forward. If others have had similar experiences, please share.
That is a new twist and a great idea. As you know my mother just died having suffered with Alzheimer's for the last 25 years. In fact our family owns and operates and Alzheimer's and Dementia Facility and we always look for ways to help. We have, as a standard practice for the last 8-10 years, taken a queue from Batesville (the moment you get to the "farm" you get a name tag - makes their staff very "smart" always knowing your name...), and had name tags printed and in holders for the family members (anyone listed in the obituary) on a table ready for the family as they enter for the first visitation. It not only helps their guests (it helps us). It includes their name and how they are related to the deceased. i.e.
This way with several families being served at the same time we can keep them sorted out. Our families tend to comment on this being one of their favorite special items.
Like many in my generation I appreciate name tags more than I used to... for two reasons. As memory dims with age, eyesight often dims also. Any members who act on this excellent suggestion might want to encourage writing the names in LARGE and BOLD letters. It's not only embarrassing to forget the name. It's even more embarrassing to have to bend down to someone's chest to read their name. LARGE and BOLD! Thanks.
I think this is a terrific post. I have a question: how would you,present this idea to a family that is making arrangements? I have been,thinking about this since I read it this morning, and would like to see how this could be a part of the process...how to ask them if they would like to do this; how to offer it to the friends that are visiting, etc.
I noticed the visitor's reaction to the nametag request. The first step would be training of your staff to greet guests and offer the nametag request. It was really easy.
I think it would be a recommendation by the arranger to the family recognizing the situation. I feel proud that this daughter's idea was so meaningful to all attending.
We just "ran with it" and it worked. But other posts today have indicated nametags in many ways help, families, visitors and our staff. More to explore.
When you provide your families with name tags for the visitation, are you providing pin on or stick on name tags. I know some - especially some women - do not want pin holes in their clothes.
Nor do you want to put adhesive name tags on leather apparel such as jackets, vests, and coats. I did that once, on my own leather jacket, and when I pulled the tag off after only an hour or so attached, it pulled the top layer of "fuzz" off the leather surface. The result is a permanent "ghost-image" or outline of the tag.