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Essential care and preparation of the deceased

Maurer Family Funerals performs essential care and preparation of the deceased. We follow Australian standards guidelines and respect religious and cultural philosophies of the family and the final requests of the deceased.

The care of the body after death is considered one of the last acts of caring that can be done for the deceased. The preparation of the deceased for funeral can be very difficult emotionally, mentally and physically but spiritually it can really help you find your place of love and caring.

If the death is unexpected then you will need to contact the ambulance or police before moving the body unnecessarily. The situation of the body can help the doctor ascertain cause of death. Read more about What to do when someone passes away.

This essential care and preparation of the deceased can be performed by the family and loved ones. But don’t despair at doing this yourself, we are here to help you to make this difficult time less complex. Maurer Family Funerals consider and respect the deceased and their loved ones wishes.

What is involved in preparing a body for funeral?

Preparing the deceased involves washing, dressing and positioning the body. Washing and positioning the body should be done within a few hours as Rigor mortis happens within two to seven hours after death.
If the person died in hospital or hospice then this can be done by the nursing staff.
Alternatively you can call us 24/7 on 02 9413 1377 to manage the procedure and transport the body.

Washing The Body

Washing should include washing the face, torso, hair and teeth. Use a soap and water soaked towel. Washing hair isn’t always necessary. Clean around the mouth and teeth, Do not remove dentures. Keep the body as cool as possible.
If you don’t have clothes then cover the deceased with a shroud or cloth. It is still important to allow the deceased their dignity.

Dressing The Body

 Dress or cover the body according to personal wishes or cultural practices. A shirt or a dress can be cut up the middle of the back from the bottom to just below but not through the neckline or collar. Place the arms into the sleeves first and then slipping the neck opening over the head, tucking the sides under the body on each side.

Positioning The Body

Entirely close the eyes. Use your finger pads holding the lids for up to a few minutes. You can use soft weights like raw rice in a sock to hold the lids in place if the deceased has passed longer than a few hours.
Close the mouth. A smooth fabric scarf can be used to wrap under the chin to the around the top of the head.
Position the arms and legs straight along the body.

What happens for an open casket?

In the situation that you want an open casket for the deceased more care will need to be taken in the preparation. You will need to consider giving the gentleman a shave and the ladies some makeup. The hairstyling may also be very important. With jewellery and medals on display.

If you don’t feel you can do this, we will take instructions from the family on the preparation and make you loved one look like they are sleeping peacefully.

The next step is to transport the body to the morgue or funeral. Maurer Family Funerals has their mortuary located in Chatswood and Balgowlah. You are able to transport the body yourself to the morgue, however there are complexities that make this best left to the professionals.

Storage of the deceased and transport from the morgue to the funeral are included in our professional services. Read more about Funeral Costs.