Death is a subject most people don’t want to discuss and yet death is an inevitable part of life. Use this Web Guide to help prepare for your death or the death of someone you love. The resources here can help you manage your finances or estate in advance, and access funeral and bereavement resources.
While many Web sites focus on specific areas of death and dying, these Web sites cover most elements in the death and bereavement process. Look to these for information on the process of death, hospitalization, writing a will, planning a funeral, grieving and more.
- WebMD provides a glossary of end-of-life terms that you may encounter when doing research.
- The Next Of Kin Registry (NOKR) is a free emergency contact system that allows you to track your loved ones in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. Register with the site to store your emergency contacts, next of kin and important medical information.
For advice on talking about death …
provides a lengthy article about the conversations loved ones should have before a crisis occurs. Using real-life examples, this text explores how to deal with death and how to broach the subject.
is designed to help you prepare for all aspects of the death process. Visit the “Planning Ahead
” section for advice on how to talk to your loved ones about your wishes and what to do if they disagree about care or bereavement issues. Learn how to talk with your health care provider, write an advance directive or will, and manage your finances.
The University of Pittsburgh Institute on Aging
provides a multitude of research and resources for the elderly. Some topics discussed include advance directives, advance planning, care management, financial planning, grief and loss, insurance, legal rights, respite, and social and emotional support.
The Web has many resources to help you create advance directives. Sometimes called advance health care or medical directives, advance directives often include a legal statement called a living will. The findingDulcinea Advance Directives Web Guide introduces the differences among the directives, where to find the right forms for your state, and how to talk to your family about these difficult topics.
If someone you love is dying, these resources can help you take care of him or her with both emotional and physical support. You’ll get advice on how to communicate and relate with the dying, and find resources for hospital care or hospice. There’s also information on how to make your loved one as physically comfortable as possible during treatment or care.
The University of Virginia Health System
presents an article called “Coping With Terminal Cancer” that discusses the concept of death and how infants, toddlers, kids, adolescents and adults may view death. The article also explores the difference between anticipating loss and sudden loss, and presents questions to ask in the case of anticipated loss.
offers an article on interacting with a terminally ill loved one. Learn the best ways to support and comfort a dying person, how a relationship might change, what the emotional process often entails and how to deal with a loved one in denial of his or her impending death.
offers a “Relationships” section with many links and resources for coping with terminal illness and death. The articles in this discussion are geared toward all members of the family. Some of the topics include “Coping styles,” “Adjusting to the news,” “Euthanasia/assisted suicide” and more.
To learn about end-of-life care …
addresses the difference between hospice and palliative care, two topics frequently discussed in this section of the guide. Visit this resource if you have doubts about their distinctions.
Family Caregiving 101
outlines the best ways to communicate in the hospital setting with a focus on patients’ rights. Use this helpful information to ensure that your loved one is safely and effectively cared for, and that his or her needs and wishes are met.
Growth House, Inc.
is dedicated to improving the experience of individuals undergoing hospice care and facing terminal illness. This extensive site has links that address forms of emotional and physical support. Visit the “Handbook for Mortals
” section for information on various stages of death and its physical ramifications.
This section of the guide helps you plan a funeral, whether your own or someone else’s. Get resources for the service itself, including how to find a funeral home and arrange a memorial service, and learn what to expect financially. Also find resources for veterans that help ensure service members are buried with appropriate distinction.
- If you have a religious affiliation, try your place of worship as a source of information. You may be able to get hands-on help for funeral and bereavement services, as well as care for the dying.
For planning steps and cost information …
The National Funeral Directors Association
has a “Consumer Resources” section that features information on arranging a funeral or cremation, a directory of NFDA-certified funeral homes and a “Funeral Service Help Line” offering free information on planning a funeral as well as grief counseling.
The Federal Trade Commission
explains your rights as a consumer in buying funeral services. Use this site for advice on how to calculate a realistic funeral cost, and visit the links at the bottom of the page for even more advice.
provides an overview of what a funeral service often entails, and ideas on what to expect or ask for when designing your own service.
presents information on “A Family Undertaking,” a film that chronicles the growing trend of at-home funerals. The “Resources
” section is full of helpful external links on planning a home funeral.
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
discusses burial benefits for veterans. Find resources for military funeral honors, burial flags and burial allowances, as well as links to determine your eligibility for benefits.
For many, the death of a child is unimaginable. But for parents who have to face this tragedy, there are some ways to make it easier for all members of the family. The resources below give advice on how to communicate love and support for a dying child and provide opportunities for outreach with other parents who have faced a similar loss.
- Use the forums and blogs recommended in the “Grief Resources” section of this guide as a way to connect with others. Forums and blogs are helpful because you can communicate anonymously at any time of day or night, and be completely open and honest about your grief.
- The terminal illness of a child affects everyone in the family. If you have other children they may need special attention and care through this difficult time. Take a look at the findingDulcinea Counseling and Therapy Web Guide for information on the different types of therapy available.
For end-of-life care for children …
Texas Children’s Cancer Center
offers suggestions on how to care for a dying child. Use the links near the top of the page to find information on aspects of physical and psychosocial care, as well as advice on supporting family caregivers.
Central DuPage Hospital
maintains a page of information about caring for the emotional and physical needs of a dying child, as well as meeting the emotional needs of others involved in the child’s life.
grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. Visit the “Refer a Child
” link to find out who is eligible and to recommend a child for the program.
Use the Web sites recommended here to overcome the grief and trauma of losing a loved one. You’ll find resources especially for adults, parents and children that offer opportunities for support and outreach. Connecting with others is one of the most essential aspects of healing.
- Use your grief to create a blog of your own; self-expression is one of the most effective ways to overcome pain. Keep a daily log of your emotions and thoughts, and create a dialog with your readers. The findingDulcinea Blogs Web Guide can get you started.
has a message board on “Grief and Loss
” issues. AARP presents themes and topics and encourages users to contribute their own stories and comments in response.
Family Caregiver Alliance
offers links and descriptions of online support groups for caregivers. Some of the groups include the Caregiver Online Group, The Huntington’s Disease and Movement Disorders Online Group and the LGBT Caring Community Online Support Group.
provides grief support, services and products for those who are dying or grieving. Learn how to prepare for death and arrange a funeral, how best to offer caregiving and how to deal with grief. There’s also a link to “Sudden & Violent Death
” that provides a forum for individuals who have lost loved ones unexpectedly.
For parents who have lost a child …
is a free resource for kids to help each other through the loss of a loved one. The site offers an e-mail support group, a place to share artwork and stories, and a forum where kids and parents can ask questions about dealing with grief.
The Dougy Center
specializes in grief resources for children and families. Visit the “Center Locator
” to find a location in your area, or the “Grief Support
” section for links to free online advice and helpful activities, arranged by age group.
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