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11 01, 2021

How To Discuss End-of-Life Wishes with Your Parents

Are you dreading having the much-need conversation with your parents regarding their end-of-life wishes? You are not alone. This is a painful and difficult conversation for many people.

What you may not realize is that many older adults want to be asked about their final wishes. They may also like assistance with finding resources on how to create a will or trust. They may also need help finding online resources on how to pre-plan for their funerals.

Here are some tips on how to talk to parents about end-of-life wishes. We will give you ideas on how to broach these complicated conversation topics and provide you with a list of questions to ask your parents before they die.

1. Get help from your siblings.

Ask your siblings for help with this discussion about your parent’s final wishes. Even if they want to bury their heads in the sand on the subject of your parent’s mortality, remind them that you will all be responsible for planning for a funeral someday. It’s better to approach this process with your parent’s preferences than guessing what those wishes were after your parent’s death.

Talk with your siblings about the best approach for starting this conversation with your parents. Do you all agree that the best course of action is to set up a formal family meeting? Or do you know that your parents would respond better to a discussion that seemed more “off the cuff” and casual?

The personalities and knowledge of your parents and siblings may determine the best course of action for broaching the topic.

Some people are reluctant to disclose what they may feel is their private financial or health information, even with their children. If you find that your parent(s) are resistant to having this conversation about their final wishes, use these talking points to encourage them to share.

  • “We want to be able to fulfill your final wishes. We can’t do it if we don’t know what they are.”
    “We don’t want to have to pay lawyers to sort through the details of your estate.”
    “We’re worried that making these decisions after you die will cause arguments among the family members.”
    “Making your own end-of-life plans is one of the best gifts you can give to us.”

2. Ask all of the hard questions and take notes.

Here is some of the information you need to gather to help your parents complete their end-of-life plans. Start by obtaining general information

29 12, 2020

Cremation Options During COVID-19

Most of us are living different lives now than we did in the Fall of 2019. Even though COVID-19 has disrupted many of our activities, we would like you to know that Philadelphia Cremation Society is still serving families in Philadelphia and surrounding communities. This doesn’t mean that other aspects of your loved one’s funeral service won’t be affected by the pandemic.

Let’s discuss cremation during COVID-19. We’ll discuss what has changed due to the pandemic, and what has remained the same. We’ll also give you a quick overview of cremation laws that were in effect before the coronavirus was discussed daily.

Cremations During COVID-19

While there is a lot that is still unknown about the coronavirus, scientists and medical experts have released guidelines for those working in the funeral and cremation industry. The Center for Disease Control released “What do funeral home workers need to know about handling decedents who had COVID-19?” in July. 

In this report, we learned that “decedents with COVID-19 can be buried or cremated.” We also learned that the safety guidelines we follow are appropriate for handling decedents with the coronavirus.

What does this mean for your family? Regardless of whether your loved one died while infected with the coronavirus or passed away from some other cause, we can safely transport the body to one of our facilities and complete the cremation. 

If your loved one recently passed away, call one of our end-of-life experts at 610-632-1191.

Cremated Remains During COVID-19

You may be wondering if it is safe to handle the cremated remains of loved ones who died while infected with the coronavirus. 

According to this report from the CDC, cremated remains are reduced to an ash-like substance by intense heat. This means that “cremated remains are considered to be noninfectious regardless of the cause of death.”

After our cremation experts return the ashes of your loved ones to you, you are free to keep,  bury, inter, or scatter them as long as you follow state and local guidelines. 

If your loved one was a veteran, let experts from Philadelphia Cremation Society assist you with the veteran’s benefits that your loved one may be entitled to receive. This service is offered

28 12, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions about Cremations and Cremation Planning

People often have many questions regarding the services we provide, but they find it too hard to ask those questions over the phone or in a face-to-face interview when in the throes of grief.

Here are some of the frequently asked questions we receive regarding cremation.

How do I decide between cremation and burials?
While the answer to this question is intensely personal, we would like you to consider a few points regarding cremation.

Cremation offers flexibility over a traditional burial.
When a person is cremated, the family can choose to have the end-of-life services at a time that is best suited for them. This may allow soldiers stationed overseas the opportunity to get home in time for the funeral. This also allows you to avoid having a funeral near major holidays, family birthdays, or catastrophic world events, such as pandemics.

Cremations are more affordable than traditional burials.
Many of our clients are uncomfortable bringing up costs soon after losing a loved one, but the reality is that we all have to live within a budget. It is important that you realize that a direct cremation can cost thousands of dollars less than a traditional burial.

Philadelphia Cremation Society has several packages to consider.

You can choose to inter the cremated remains of your loved one in a cemetery.
Some families want to be able to have a place to visit to grieve their loss. Even if your loved one chose cremation, you can bury the urn in a cemetery plot with a headstone if you desire. You could also place the urn in a columbarium niche, so that you are assured that your loved one’s remains have an eternal final resting place.

Philadelphia Cremation Society can help you make any of these arrangements.

How much do cremations cost?
The cost of cremation in Philadelphia ranges between $1,000 and $2,500. The price depends on various factors, including the type of service you are planning for your loved one. To talk through the cost of cremation in Pennsylvania (and select areas of New Jersey and Delaware), call (610) 595-5327. You will receive a price quote from one of our experts on funeral planning with cremation services.

How do you plan a funeral when the body is cremated?
Families can take several different approaches when planning a funeral for a loved one who wished to be cremated. If the family wants to have the body present in an open-casket during a visitation, Philadelphia Cremation Society

8 09, 2020

A Family Member Has Passed: Here’s What You Need To Do Next

The most traumatic moment in most people’s lives occurs when a family member has passed. Nothing can prepare you for this moment, even if the death was expected. 

If you recently lost a loved one, we would like to offer our sincerest sympathies. We know you probably feel lost right now. We understand how important it is for you to have access to a knowledgeable professional who knows what to do. Please consider calling the Philadelphia Cremation Society at 610-632-1191 for assistance. 

Here are some suggestions of what to do upon a family member’s passing.

What to Do When a Family Member Passes

The grief experts at the Philadelphia Cremation Society will arrange to have a professional pick up your loved one. Our transportation service will transfer bodies from private residences, nursing homes, hospice facilities, hospitals, or coroners’ offices in the Philadelphia area. Our service area includes the following counties in Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, Lehigh, Northampton, and Berks. We now also offer services to the residents of the following counties in New Jersey: Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem. Also, contact us if you reside in New Castle County in Delaware.  

Philadelphia Cremation Society’s highly trained, compassionate staff members will ask a few simple questions that will enable us to make the cremation arrangements. Before those arrangements can take place, families need to determine whether the cremation will occur before the funeral services or after. If you choose to delay the cremation until after the service, the body may need to be embalmed. We can help you arrange this process, which may be necessary for an open-casket visitation.

Once you and the rest of your family have made these decisions, the Philadelphia Cremation Society will take care of the rest of the paperwork and details. You will be free to focus on notifying other family members and comforting those around you.

Cremations Needed ASAP? 

Perhaps you had already made funeral arrangements and had the opportunity to say your final goodbye to your loved one. In this case, you may prefer that the cremation occur as soon as possible. This is generally referred to as a direct cremation. The Philadelphia Cremation Society can help you with this process.

We offer several easy-to-understand packages that offer the best pricing in the Philadelphia area. All packages include cremation arrangements, online memorials, assistance

14 07, 2020

The Cremation Process Explained

Many people find comfort in doing things the same way as their parents and grandparents did. They make peanut clusters at Christmas because “that’s what grandma always did.” Each bride in the family wears the same strand of pearls at her wedding because it is an important family heirloom. Some families even plan the same types of funerals for their deceased loved ones, generation after generation. 

You may feel uncomfortable about the idea of cremation if you come from a family that has always chosen burial as an end-of-life option, but it is not as scary as you think. The purpose of this blog is to educate you about the cremation process. We will tell you a bit about the history of cremation in the U.S. and explain the science involved in the process. We also intend to reassure you that whether or not your family has chosen cremation for their loved ones in the past, it is a loving and environmentally-friendly way to say goodbye to someone you love. 

The History Behind Cremations

Even though cremation has been used for centuries in other areas of the world, the practice didn’t come to the United States until the 1850s. The first person to open a crematorium in the U.S. did so just five hours west of Philadelphia in Washington, Pennsylvania. 

The man behind the practice was a medical doctor, Dr. Francis Julius LeMoyne. He designed and built the crematorium because he thought the new-found method of embalming the deceased might harm the health of the living. 

Since then, cremation has slowly gained in popularity over the decades. In 2016, CNN reported that over half of Americans were choosing cremation over burial. 

The Science Behind Cremations

Some people feel better about cremation after learning about the process. Here are the basic steps of cremation. 

After a person dies, the Philadelphia Cremation Society will transfer the body from a hospital, coroner’s office, nursing home, hospice facility, or private residence to their facility.

After the proper paperwork has been completed, the body will be prepared for cremation. It is worth noting that bodies that are to be cremated are typically not embalmed unless the family wishes to have the body present at an open-casket visitation or viewing. 

Before

15 05, 2020

Cremation vs. Burial: Why People Choose One Over the Other

It’s no secret that cremation is gaining in popularity and continues to outpace traditional burials. According to the National Funeral Director’s Association, the percentage of people choosing cremation is expected to surpass 70% by the year 2040, while conventional burials will decrease to around 16%. But why the shift and will conventional burials become a thing of the past? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why cremation is becoming more widespread and why traditional burials will always be appealing to some. 

Why do people choose cremation?

Lower Cost

Hands down the #1 reason people choose cremation is affordability. The average cost of a basic cremation minus any frills such as visiting hours or memorial service is about $2,500, and direct cremation can be as low as $800. Cremation does not require a grave or headstone, and cremation urns are typically cheaper than caskets and don’t require pallbearers. By comparison, the median cost of a burial with a coffin and full funeral home services is about $7,500.

It’s More Personal

With more people breaking from tradition and decoupling religion from death, families and friends are choosing to celebrate death in more unique and personal ways. End of life celebrations are now popping up, taking on many different forms; dinner at a favorite restaurant, a hike on a beloved trail, or a paddle out to a local surf spot. And unlike burials, cremation provides the flexibility to scatter ashes at sea, in your backyard, sprinkled over a reef, planted as a memorial tree, or even shot off in fireworks. Cremation jewelry and tattoos are also gaining popularity as a way to permanently memorialize a loved one.

Newer Ways

A new alternative to standard cremation is now emerging. Twenty states now permit a process called Alkaline Hydrolysis, sometimes called “flameless” cremation, which uses a mixture of pressurized water and chemicals to dissolve the body, making cremation an attractive option to those who previously felt standard cremation by heat or flame sounded ominous.   

Claustrophobia

Some people don’t like the idea of being put into a box and the body decaying over time or potentially being dug up at some point.

Environmental Concerns

While cremation does require a significant amount of energy and releases carbon emissions, generally it is considered the “greener” and eco-friendlier option.

13 04, 2020

Water Cremation – A New Choice

Cremation has increased in popularity every year since 1980. With the passage of a new California law, cremating your loved one has become a little bit easier (and more unique). On October 15, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law into place that would allow for water cremations. This new process, often referred to as alkaline hydrolysis, puts a spin on how traditional cremation procedures are performed. Water cremation is said to be better for the environment as it simulates a more natural tissue and bone decay process than traditional flame-based methods.

10 03, 2020

Top Cremation Trends For 2018

As cremation has grown in popularity so too have a host of cremation-related trends. As we embark on 2018, here are the top cremation trends that can give you a unique way to memorialize your loved one.