Mom has no life insurance policy, I care for her with no help from my siblings or even her brother. Once she developed dementia locating any important papers was impossible.

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WA State has some provision for forming a family burial plot on property the family owns. It must be permanently designated area, and registered via the County as such; can only be a burial plot, for whatever future owners buy that property...only rural property, I think.
There is the place in Portland that handles remains for research. They pick up free via local mortuary, handle the remains for various researches, then cremate remains. they will return those cremains to the family or dispose of them, as you wish/specify, all at no cost.
I tried WSU and other universities around WA, and none wanted more bodies at that time....figured, the place in Portland was best bet.
American funeral and cremation was happening when we looked for a place to handle Mom's spouse's remains...that cost around $700 total. Mom still keeps his boxed ashes with her.
Try donating body for research.
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omegafuneral, yep, it would be WSU. I have the paperwork sitting on my dining room table, just not sure who to get to sign the durn thing for me. Says I don't need the "Appointment of Person for Disposition of Cremains" form notarized, but I do need 2 witnesses who are not related by blood, marriage or adoption to me. You choose to have your cremains released to the 2 witnesses or released to the gift program and buried right on university grounds.

These last few years, I work from home, take care of mom and no longer see any people socially at all who aren't related to me, ha-ha. I guess that means my sister-in-law can't nor my niece's husband, right? Man, I see so few people these days. I talk online to a handful of people. All my coworkers are homebased like I am. The little church I attended up till a few years ago kind of disbanded (preacher retired and now travels). I "attend" church on line right now. Oh well, when I get my STNA, I should surely meet a few people wherever I'll be working whom I might persuade to sign the form together. Just was thinking the niece and her husband would be the best choice as witnesses, and then I'd just let the school bury my cremains; they know I'm thinking about this and I don't see how it would be a problem.
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i wouldn't mind a couple of medical students cracking jokes over my body. it's been done before. :D once by a medical student even. i'd love to sit up, laugh and scare the ever lovin crap out of them! i'd really love a Tibetan Sky Funeral. To me that's the ultimate green funeral. I'd like one of them to fly back here and poop on obama for me. *GRIN* whatever i do will be cheap. i'm only getting rid of the tupperware, what's real will have flown off to be with Jesus and my daddies and my grandmas and grandpas and my grandson.
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there are a couple tribes in borneo who cremate bodies. first they marinate and celebrate while it roticerates.
honestly tho many statesindiana included will give you a permit for a green burial. if you have land or a friend with land you can be wrapped in a clean bed sheet and lowered into the earth at 6 feet deed. your grave has no further impact on a later owner of the land cause without a casket your going to be fertilizer in a couple of months. i prefer that. the earth nourished you and you can nourish it back.
if i had preferances id like to be cremated and my ashes used in a bag of mortar on my beautiful little castle. ill fly a pic of my new small castle as an avatar. id be proud to haunt up in that house forever..
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I hope you sign up with the medical school body donation program. They generally are more ethical them the bio-medical supply companies (The ones that "Harvest" the tissues for research).
Most of the bio-medical supply companies are very vague as to what they are really doing with the bodies. Harvesting is a euphemism for evisceration and amputation, these companies will remove all body parts they sell to the researchers (At a very tidy price, ie: $350.00 for 1 uterus with ovaries and fallopian tubes attached ), ship the parts to various places worldwide and when the researcher is done with the body part it is disposed of (Sometimes just placed in the trash). The family only receives the ashes from what the company can't sell. These companies are multimillion dollar concerns, not gross income but profit. One company is even registered as a 501c3 non-profit organization that pays no tax on their income. Again I would stick with donation to a medical school or shop around for cremation services in your area and see if there is a Funeral Consumer Alliance chapter in your area.
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I wouldn't worry much about how bodies are handled in med schools.
The A&P instructor I had, was also a minister in his other life, and a college science instructor. While this is not likely common, he did have a wonderful "grace" or skill regarding making sure students were respectful.

Surely other instructors are similarly trained to teach their classes in this subject.
Students who are in these classes are closely monitored, as well as being trained/instructed in proper mindset and respect, prior to even seeing a body.

Please feel at ease in these choices.
It is a very wonderful gift to the future!
The school's program near you, sounds very good!
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Chimonger, after I read your posting yesterday, I did look on my local medical school's website (Wright State University), where I know they have the body donation service. I know my uncle will be donating his body when his time comes, and my aunt has carried through with the paperwork required. They have a yearly memorial service and one can have a brick with the loved one's name placed on a walkway in their "cemetery" that's right on the campus. I was kind of impressed. The whole body donation idea put me off (I've known a few medical students and doctors in my years as a medical transcriber) but I gave it careful thought yesterday for myself when my time comes. Looks relatively easy to get the process going, can just run the forms off on my printer, fill them out and have them notarized and put in the mail and voila. I ran it by mom, who looked at me like I was crazy then asked me where dad's buried. I had to reassure her she would be placed beside him when her time comes.
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You are welcome, CindyOh...
Did you know, the mind interprets our faces making a smile pose, as motivation to pump out dopamine, which elevates mood?
The mind is so responsive to that, if one simply sticks a pencil in their mouth sideways, stretching the mouth into a sort of a smile, the brain will still comply and pump out some dopamine?
I just about rolled over laughing when I heard that the 1st time, but it does seem to work.....also, the brain can literally only process one thought at a by consciously responding to troublesome things by smiling, we are short-circuiting thoughts of pain, sadness, stress, etc....making it easier to start feeling better again.

Dunno about exact places that do specific studies.
Just that most go through a company that does the work of collecting the bodies, and harvesting tissues at a central location, then that company ships tissues to specified research locations as ordered.

The place in Portland, OR, is a "clearing house" arrangement.
Researchers contact them seeking tissues for studies/research.
The company collects the bodies upon death--or they contract with local mortuaries to collect remains until they can get them [bodies must be removed from the home within, I believe, 24 hours or less, preferably, to keep the body under refrigeration]
==Their website has the necessary documents you can download and copy.
Signatures do need notarized...we took Mom to the bank to get her signature was notarized/witnessed, free.
==There were about 2 or 3 different forms, =not all= needed notarized.
But ALL the forms need filled out and sent in to get the process going--
I remember we almost missed one of them, not realizing it was needed, too.

It is very helpful if family members have been informed in writing, otherwise, any one of them can contest the process and gum up the works, if the elder has failed to make their wishes clear, on paper. Some folks are very against cremation, for mostly emotional/religious reasons. A few are concerned about pollution/fuel use.

Sometimes, people going through their aging/infirmity/ills, develop fears, doubts, and change their minds:
G'ma deeply, Spiritually believed in life after death, yet when she got closer to her deathbed, developed doubts and fears; family were able to help her hold fast to her lifetime faith, reassuring her in her original choices, complimenting her on her practicality [which she had always been proud of].
But it is also at such junctures, elders may suddenly sign other papers with very different orders than their rational minds originally dictated. [[easily led to do so]]

Good luck in your process!
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I was going to ask about brain donation of an azl. patient. Read some time ago that some places like to study alzheimer brains.Don't like I am trying to hurry him up!
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Oops, sorry. I meant to say, "They have been very helpful for us."
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I know if someone is on hospice they have information about body donation when a loved one dies. My MIL is actually signed up for it. I guess they are more likely to take her body because she has Alzheimer's and is on hospice. Her social worker through them set it all up for us. You may be able to contact a local hospice in your area and ask them. They have be very helpful for us.
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I have donated my body to science at the Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine, USD, Vermillion, South Dakota 57069. The key is to inform all family members so one one can dispute my wishes. After the body is used for tissue, science, etc. the cremated remains are buried on the Schools grounds with a simple marker. There is no charge for picking up the body nor burial. I do not know the concentric area in which the school will travel.
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Tulane in New Orleans. You must sign up to donate your body to science. They are called upon death and come get the body. You will receive their ashes back but it will be 6 months or more. Both of my husbands grandparents and my uncle did this. Hope this helps.
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Chimonger, you have made my day - "large chunks in the garden," had to laugh, which I really needed. Thanks for the info and for the chuckle.
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YES. Google "donate body for research, OR"
I found one in Portland, Oregon.
We had Mom sign papers for it, but I never know when she might change her mind, and with family fights, they might decide to do something other than what Mom signed up for.
The one in Portland, Oregon, will pick up a body from UT, WA, CA, for instance [maybe farther, I didn't ask] .
LIMIT: 250 lbs.
They are a clearing house for requests for tissues for research.
They pick body up, harvest tissues, account for all of it, then cremate.
Family can request they handle the cremains, or family can sign to get cremains returned to them.
NO COST TO FAMILY for pickup, cremation, or handling cremains afterward.
This business makes money selling tissues to researchers for science.
==Not sure how one tells if they are getting back the correct cremains.

Most of them, I was told upon contacting some, are overwhelmed with donations for their dissection labs; alternately, they can run out of them, but rarely.
They also must legally account for all tissues handled.
Supposedly, no charge for donating bodies to schools, either.

Some Legals about cremains:
==These are sterile, so where they get stowed, is not an issue,
UNLESS the cremains didn't go through the bone crusher, since cremation leaves some larger chunks, that should not be left around the garden, for instance.
==Scattering cremains might be a bit of an issue, but no one is really watching.
Just make sure they went thru the bone crusher first, wherever they were cremated, and avoid breathing the dust in.
Never pour them into potable water sources.
==Funeral Homes usually charge a high price for an urn or box, unless you specify to just get them back in a basic cardboard box.
There is often a charge for a cardboard coffin to cremate them in, most funeral homes. Not sure that is really required--it all turns to ash anyway, and gets swept up together.
You can buy whatever container you like, far cheaper, elsewhere, and avoid the markup funeral homes charge. [[seriously--grandma was a funeral director...]]

There are some real cheap companies that do cremations, contracted via local funeral homes...we did one of those for Mom's DH...cost about $700.
I was able to pay that out of pocket--other companies that advertize, charge lots more.
That was a very easy process, it took a few days. But the contract was pretty simple, sign it, fill in the necessary info, pay. Picked up body, processed, returned cremains.
Unfortunately, those companies come and go.

Which means one cannot plan ahead....nor travel far....if you prepay for their services, and die beyond their territory, you lose all the savings of pre-planning, and end up paying far more.

SO, if cost is important to keep down, getting the forms filled out from the place in Portland, or another like it, is the only way to go, that really doesn't cost the family anything, can be pre-planned, and one doesn't have to worry so hugely, about traveling, as long as one dies in that company's territory...

Sometimes one can get reliable Pre-planning Insurance
...that is, you are guaranteed that if your loved one dies and remains are processed far from home, the original company you contracted with and paid for, must use the money you paid them, to pay the place that did the work...or refund the family--something like that. never knows how good that contract really is, or how well it will reimburse current costs, if it was done years ago when things were cheaper.
....Which brings us back to choice #1, donating the body for seems weird that more people are being funneled into this solution.
It kinda brings memories of Soylent Green to mind...
[[Sorry...I can have morgue humor sometimes....No disrespect intended.]]

Keep us posted on what you find/experience.
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