Funeral home staff perform a variety of jobs in relation to the management and preparation of the deceased, including cleaning the bodies, performing an embalming, using special tools and materials to restore the appearance of the deceased, and preparing the body for cremation or viewing. The staff can also make arrangements for transportation, work with relatives to choose burial options, hold viewings or offer grief counseling.
The majority of the responsibilities of the staff at a funeral home involve treatment of the deceased, starting with cleaning and disinfecting the body to prevent any health risks for those that come into contact with it. A member of the staff also works with the immediate family of the deceased to determine the appropriate burial options, which affect the additional work the home performs on the body. If the family chooses a traditional burial with a viewing, the home may dress the deceased, sell the family a casket and offer its facilities for the ceremony.
Funeral homes also perform embalming on some bodies, with the staff draining the blood of the deceased and replacing it with a special chemical to help preserve it. If the deceased experienced trauma during the time of death or underwent an autopsy, the staff can also restore its physical appearance using makeup, putty and other tools. The funeral home also helps make transportation arrangements for out-of-state burials and attends to any other needs of the family as necessary.