A Caregiver’s Guide to Planning a Funeral

Funeral planning becomes inevitable for all of us at some point in our lives. When a loved one enters hospice, it can be a particularly difficult to even thinking about planning a funeral. The following account is what one husband learned while preparing for the loss of his wife. Read on to learn more, and we hope you find this information helpful. Thanks for visiting us at Advocare. We provide in-home care placement services and geriatric care management throughout the South Florida areas of North Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Palm Beach Island and more. 

“What mortuary are you planning to use?”

Those are the last words a caregiver wants to hear when checking a loved one into hospice care, whether at home or in a specialized facility. The decision to enter hospice care already carries a sense of defeat. It means you generally aren’t going to try to save your loved one, but rather, seek to spare the person as much pain as possible on the impending road toward death.

The mortuary question evokes a hole in the cold, hard ground.

The hospice social worker who asked me that question when my wife recently entered hospice care understood that it blindsided me. I felt dazed and told her that I hadn’t thought that far ahead. She graciously moved down the intake form. But before leaving, she did me a favor by suggesting that I take care of the burial arrangements for Liz — who has frontotemporal dementia — as soon as possible.

Decisions Upon Decisions

Here’s what I’ve learned in shopping for my wife’s funeral services: Start early, but don’t rush it. Each decision triggers more decisions. And the costs climb quickly.

The National Funeral Directors Association says the average cost of a funeral in 2012 was $8,343, including the “grave liner” required by most cemeteries. It can easily cost much more. And that doesn’t include cemetery costs, markers, flowers, food or gratuities for clergy and musicians.

Knowing all this, I appreciate the social worker’s advice. You don’t want to weigh decisions about money when you’re grieving.

Advance Planning Counts

There’s a lot to learn about burying someone. One funeral director told me there were more than 150 decisions to be made in the first few days after a loved one dies. There are few rules, as customs have changed significantly in the past generation.

Continue reading HERE.

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