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Alison 29th Jan 2014

Posted on the Forum

I am an RAO at a small low care facility, my boss has recently asked me to do an in-house memorial ceremony, for a resident who recently died, as a way for the other residents & staff to acknowledge her passing and pay their respects.

Has anyone done this before? Or have any resources for how to run a memorial service, what to say etc?

From Alison
Sydney Australia.
Heather 30th Jan 2014
Hi Alison, I have done a few of these and I hope this helps as it does take a little work on your part to put it altogether but I assure you it is worth as not only good for the residents but you as well as we spend so much time with them all and a chance for us to say goodbye. I
put a little book together just like you would get at the actual service, So front cover has a picture of the resident and inside i put pictures of the resident doing activities that they shared good times with others , I then put funny sayings, comments etc they may have said to me or other care staff during their stay with us. I play a song that I knew they liked that made them smile (ie one was you are my sunshine) and put the words in so everyone could sing along if they wished, I finished the book with either the lords prayer if they were religious or a nice friendship life poem for those who are not.
When I opened the service I explained to everyone that this is their time to fairwell an old friend not with sadness but with memories of all the good times they have shared either during activities or simple chat over a cup of tea. I asked in closing if anyone would like to share a memory they recall of good times together I often say a few words about something I have recalled I try to make it positive and encouraging. Sometimes I get one or two residents who wish to say something but mostly they just like to listen. I try to make it very light hearted so not to cause grief to anyone. I organise a very small bunch of flowers from the garden and ask for a minute silence for us all to say farewell and lay the flowers on the chapel bench (a table is fine if you don't have a chapel). At the end I offer all residents who have attended to stay and join me for a cup of tea, during this time I find they are all talking and laughing over funny things they did with their friend. (its wonderful)
Marcia 4th Feb 2014
Hi there, I used to do a similar service at the end of each year for residents who had passed away, I called it a memory tree service and had a medium Xmas tree on a table in middle of room and asked the families to put an angel on the tree in memory of their loved one, we said a small piece about each resident while in care with us, I had a photo of each resident on a board at entrance to room, following service we had a nice afternoon tea. Many families appreciated the time and effort that went into this service, a lot of work but very much work it

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