By Connie Haymes, GSG Director
OGR is partnering with The Foresight Companies to offer step-by-step instructions on how funeral directors can improve their aftercare programs. We recognize the challenges of trying to provide the highest level of care for those who have experienced the death of a loved one. OGR’s new aftercare program will bring together the best ideas and proven strategies on the most important issue in funeral service – care of the survivors.
If you’re like most funeral professionals, you’re offering some form of aftercare to the families you serve. Have you ever thought about the importance of aftercare? Here are 5 reasons why Aftercare and Outreach Programs are important now.
- Families need support. Families can benefit from support resources long after the funeral. Whether it’s a meeting, program, or educational event, an aftercare or outreach program offers ongoing assistance to families struggling with grief. Support-program ideas may include:
– an educational workshop on how to file personal income taxes
– a cooking class
– a community clean-up
– a butterfly release at your local cemetery
– a Holiday Memorial Program
– a Veterans Day Event
- Aftercare programs bring the community to you during non-stressful events. So much of funeral service is caring for the living. Aftercare programs create an opportunity to care for families long after the funeral or memorial service. By offering programs throughout the year, you have a chance to relate to your community throughout the year.
- You can meet more people. Programs impact more than just the family you served. Depending on the event, you may find a variety of groups will want to be involved. Consider inviting veteran and church groups, schools, local business owners, or civic leaders to participate.
- They provide your community with the chance to talk about life. As the life expectancy has increased over the past 100 years, people are living fuller lives. Many memorial services are shifting from ones of mourning to celebrating a life well lived. Aftercare brings people together to talk about their lives and share memories. It equips them to be better prepared to handle grief. Resources like Have the Talk of a Lifetime offer a great way to get the conversation started.
- Aftercare programs differentiate YOU from other businesses. Aftercare programs set you and your business apart. Advertise your event in the newspaper, through social media channels, and let people know you are there to help.
What is your firm doing to provide aftercare and outreach to families?
Interested in learning more? OGR and Foresight will be offering workshops this year to help you improve your aftercare program on a busy schedule and limited budget. Visit www.ogr.org/regional-workshops to learn more about the next aftercare workshop.