Friday, November 28, 2014

What To Expect When You Arrive At The Funeral Home

One of the first things the funeral arranger will do is to provide you with our general price list. He or she will then guide you through the entire arrangement process, explaining how you can create a memorable personal celebration of your loved one's life. This is not a one-way conversation; we want to hear your ideas and desires, and use them as the foundation for the arrangement process.
This process may include:
  • Preparing and filing the official death certificate
  • Scheduling the location, date and time of services or events
  • Selecting a casket, urn or other items
  • Preparing an obituary notice
  • Scheduling vehicles
  • Selecting pallbearers

You may also sign necessary authorizations or make arrangements to have them signed by the appropriate family members.
We’d like you to bring any photos, a favorite song, or memorabilia so that you and your funeral arranger can better discuss how you would like your loved one to be remembered. Having these things, and knowing their favorite song or favorite gathering place – even their favorite activity – will help us create a truly fitting memorial service.
Our funeral arrangers will assist you in planning a loving tribute that captures the spirit of the person whose life you wish to honor. To learn more about personalizing the service, please read the Honoring Life section of this Web site. The funeral arranger will discuss personalization with you during your arrangement conference.
The following checklist will help you remember what information about the decedent and items will be needed when meeting with a funeral arranger.
  • Full legal name
  • Home address
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Father's name
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Veteran's discharge papers (DD-214)
  • Recent Photograph
  • Highest education
  • Occupation
  • Place of burial (if applicable)
  • Clothing
  • Clergy name and phone number
  • Survivors (name and relationship)
  • Insurance policies (if applicable)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hospice And Palliative Care

In the last 30 years, hospice and palliative care organizations across the country have made an incredible difference in the lives and the last days of millions of people and their families. Simply put, palliative care is focused on the relief of a patient’s pain, rather than curing the underlying illness. It is not an attempt to prolong life or to bring about death. Palliative care can be provided along with curative procedures, or in the case of hospice, without those efforts for a person with a life-limiting condition and a prognosis of only months to live.
In this moving video below, a man provides his personal perspective on the value of hospice care and how helping his mother-in-law move from the hospital to hospice care at her home made a positive, and life-affirming difference for her and her family, even as she approached death.

 Hospice began as a way of treating terminally ill cancer patients, but soon grew to encompass palliative care for patients suffering from any life-limiting condition. Before the hospice and palliative care movement took root in this country, the dominant focus of treatment for the terminally ill was the preservation and prolongation of life at any cost. Many people who had little hope of living more than weeks or months were subjected to extraordinary and intrusive procedures in an attempt to keep them alive for even a little bit longer. An unintended consequence of this focus on treatment was a loss in the quality of life for many patients who died in pain or unconscious in hospitals, rather than in a coherent and pain-free state in the presence of their families.

Options for Care

Throughout the ages, most people have been able to die in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes. In the mid to late 20th century, this changed as treatment focused on prolonging life at all costs. More and more people ended up dying, often against their own wishes, in the cold and institutional environments of hospitals. One of the most significant ways that the hospice movement has helped patients and their families, is advocating for the right of patients to choose where they spent their last days, allowing the terminally ill to once again have the option of dying at home.
Although this option remains a priority for hospice organizations, care is available in a variety of settings. In addition to in-home skilled nursing care, hospice care is available in nursing homes, hospitals, and inpatient hospice care facilities. Some organizations supplement in-home care with periods of facility-based care to provide respite for caregivers. This service allows for caregivers to recharge and enables them to continue to care for the patient at home for a longer time. Generally, the services provided to hospice patients includes nursing care, physician care, 24 hour on-call assistance, medical social services, spiritual support, trained volunteers, and bereavement services for patients in any treatment setting, as well as home care aids, and limited 24 hour continuous care for patients at home.

Who pays for hospice care?

Many see in-home care to be a far preferable experience for the patient, and it is less expensive to deliver as well. Insurance coverage for hospice care is available through Medicaid, Medicare, and many private insurers. In fact, Hospice care saves these programs and taxpayers money, as compared to costs associated with traditional treatment.

Who is eligible for hospice care?

Typically, patients with a physician’s diagnosis of a terminal illness and a prognosis of living for only another six months are eligible for hospice care. Hospice care is available to the terminally ill no matter what their age. If you or your loved one fits this description, discuss your options with your physician.

When to call

Many patients and their family members remark that they wish they had contacted their hospice care provider earlier, and providers encourage people to call as soon as they are diagnosed with a life-limiting condition. Often, the quality of life experienced by the patient and the family can be meaningfully improved, and their ability to maintain care at home prolonged because of an early call to hospice.
Patients with life-limiting conditions have more options today than ever before, including the opportunity to spend their last days in a lucid, pain managed and comforted environment. The ability to spend these precious days interacting with their families and friends in a meaningful way has had a wonderful effect on their experience and that of those close to them. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, talk with your physician about all the options for your care, including hospice.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bryan-Braker Adapts To The Needs Of Families

Fairfield - Bryan-Braker adapts to the needs of the families they serve. While providing funeral, cemetery and cremation services to local families for over 50 years there have been some changes.

Bryan-Braker realizes the value of personalization and its value to the families we serve. Celebrating a life lived through gatherings that allow more family participation and stories about how we remember our loved one are much more common today. Families are encouraged to bring in photographs of different times in their lives, doing what they loved to do for hobbies, fun, traveling, or being with family and friends. The photographs help to create a fuller picture of the person’s life. The times that made us laugh and times that made a difference in other people’s lives. From customized memorial folders to video tributes, we want to create a memorable service for everyone. This personalization will have them talking, laughing, crying and sharing memories. Helping families gather these life mementos, photos, memories, and to plan the gathering or celebration of one’s life is what we do at Bryan-Braker.

To help deliver this service we have invested in state of the art audio/visual equipment and have well trained staff that can scan a box of photo memories and turn them into a 6 to 10 minute video production that is a beautiful mosaic of the person’s life. This production would be accompanied by music and is a beautiful tribute to a life lived. Additional copies of the production can be given to family and friends. Also, we can create slideshows that can be continually shown on wall mounted LCD screens throughout the lobby areas during the visitations.

By staying up to date on technology, we have yet another tool for us to use to meet the needs of today’s families. We know that you only get to plan the service once and whether the family chooses a small or a grand send off, Bryan-Braker can help with all the details with special care of your loved one, assisting with hotel rooms for out of town guests, to the reception planning after the service.

Another trend is, more and more families are choosing cremation and we have our own crematory at our cemetery Fairmont Memorial Park and this is comforting to families knowing their loved one never leaves our care.

I often hear people say ….“There is nothing new in funeral service.” But that is only true if you’re not open to new ideas. We will always strive to be the best funeral service provider by having the best funeral directors and the necessary technology to meet the needs of the families we are privileged to serve.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Granite Monuments and Headstones

When many people think of a permanent remembrance for their loved one, their first image is often of a traditional granite monument or headstone. And there is good reason for this. Granite monuments have been a traditional choice to mark a life since colonial times. Granite is a time-defying material, it can last for hundreds of year, and it allows for remembrances in all different shapes and sizes, from two-dimensional headstones, to fully realized three-dimensional upright monuments that truly capture a life.
Because of the great many choices families have in size and shape in granite, they can most often find something that meets their needs for permanence, solace, celebration of memories, and private reflection.
And new technologies are giving families new ways to personalize their headstones or monuments. For example, even on the simplest headstone, you can place a color permanent picture or pictures of your loved one. You can write poems, or summaries of a person’s life, all of which can be captured in granite permanently. And with upright monuments you have an almost unlimited flexibility to design or choose a monument that truly reflects a unique life. A ballerina, an angel, an angler, a golfer, and much more, all can be captured with today’s new design capabilities. And for an especially elegant look, you can put a semi-precious bronze memorial on a granite base. The choices you have are often limited only by your personal vision and taste.
Because of these new creative choices, many families are finding that coming together to design or write the words for a highly personal monument becomes a fulfilling and important part of moving from grieving to remembrance.
And these more personal ways of remembering are increasingly appealing to all families, whether they choose burial or cremation. Families are realizing that having a permanent place to remember a loved one has tremendous value, not only for them and for today, but also for their children and grandchildren.
Choosing and personalizing a headstone or monument can be as simple or as involved as you wish. Your cemetery professional can help show you your choices, and can ensure that you are free to concentrate on writing the poems, stories or providing the images you want on the headstone or monument. They will also be able to give you professional guidance on any special requirements that they may have regarding the size and shape of monuments and memorials. (Please be aware that most cemeteries do have certain restrictions.  For example, some cemeteries only accept flat headstones; others have selected sections in which only certain types of monuments or headstones can be placed.)
Contacting your cemetery professional is the best way of getting the information you need to make the choice that is right for you and your family. To find An Authorized Remembrance Provider℠ near you, just click on “cemetery” in the search box on the bottom of this page.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

How Families are Remembering Their Loved Ones

This video shows how families are using traditional and new methods to create personal and meaningful, permanent remembrances for their loved ones. You will see touching and inspirational approaches to creating monuments and memorials that tell the story of a life, in words, pictures, and images. New technologies allow us to be creative in ways that most of us have never imagined. These examples of monuments and memorials show how we all can leave a mark in a very special and personalized way.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

How to Arrange a Funeral - Many People Plan While They Are Alive

It's a challenge that most of us will have to address one day. Even if we never have to arrange a funeral for someone else there's always our own send off to think about - particularly with the sensible trend for planning funerals while we are still alive.
Are funeral arrangements in place?
Assuming you're faced with the challenge of arranging a funeral for someone else, one of the first tasks is discovering whether they've left any funeral plans. The deceased's will is a good starting point. Other possible sources of information include the following:
  • A letter of wishes (perhaps stored with the will)
  • An online funeral planning resource such as The Well Planned Funeral
  • Recalled conversations with the deceased
If the deceased has stored funeral wishes online, you may even be notified of their wishes by the website. The information might be as simple as a choice between burial or cremation. On the other hand, you could find yourself managing an unusual funeral arrangement request such as a burial at sea.
Understand the deceased's wishes
As the person responsible for organising a funeral, you and other loved ones are responsible for fulfilling their wishes as closely as possible. Obviously, financial means and logistical practicalities must be considered when planning a funeral - not everyone will be able to have their ashes made into fireworks and blasted into the sky as writer Hunter S. Thompson's were. At this stage, you might also discover that the deceased had already made their own arrangements by subscribing to a prepaid funeral plan.
How to arrange a funeral - contact an undertaker
Once you understand the deceased's funeral wishes, you'll usually contact an undertaker. A reputable undertaker is an experienced funeral planner who'll guide you through the required procedures. Whether it's a sophisticated funeral or a simple cremation, the undertaker and their team are powerful allies at an emotionally challenging time. They've been through the process many times so draw on their expertise to help with the administrative and practical burdens that you're facing. And of course, friends and family are another valuable source of funeral help.
Practical funeral actions
A major part of the funeral will be the ceremony itself. How to arrange a funeral will depend on the deceased's beliefs; these may dictate an elaborate religious ceremony or a simple alternative funeral. Whatever its form the funeral ceremony represents the culmination of mourning and the opportunity for everyone to say goodbye to the deceased. Start making a funeral checklist as soon as you can; it's a sensible way to make sure everything is remembered. Important parts of the funeral service usually include the following:
  • Decoration of the venue with flowers and/or other meaningful items
  • Funeral music
  • Poems or readings
  • Religious rituals (if appropriate)
  • Tributes and appreciations
  • Committal of the deceased for burial or cremation
When the funeral's over, the mourners will typically move to a cemetery or a crematorium for the committal of the body. After this, it's usual for mourners to join the friends and family for refreshments - a wonderful opportunity to reminisce and celebrate the life of the deceased in more informally.
How to arrange a funeral - many people plan while they're alive
Increasingly, enlightened people take responsibility for their final send-off while they're still alive. From burial instructions to details of funeral flowers arrangements or a poem to be read at a funeral, it's a great way to make sure your wishes are fulfilled. Whether you do this by leaving instructions in your will, investing in a prepaid funeral plan or learn how to arrange a funeral through an online funeral planning resource will depend on your personal preferences.

Article Source:

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sending Funeral Flowers and Sympathy Flowers

Sending Funeral and Sympathy Flowers is a widely practiced tradition across many cultures to express condolences and respect following a death. When someone has lost a loved one, it can bring great comfort to receive a flower arrangement with an expression of sympathy. It provides a simple, uplifting and touching way to show the bereaved that you are thinking about them in their time of loss.
What is the difference between Sympathy Flowers and Funeral Flowers?
Sympathy Flowers are typically a personal expression to offer condolences sent direct to the home, or place of work, of the bereaved family. Sympathy arrangements are usually of the design that they will fit onto a table-top, and give a heart-warming distraction to the grief-stricken during the time of recent loss. Conventionally Sympathy Flowers are white, although other colours are quite acceptable. If you chose to send Sympathy Flowers, a number of options are available, selecting designs from simple floral bouquets to a houseplant or an exotic orchid. The important consideration in sending sympathy flowers is that the natural beauty and scent of flowers can have a special effect on the human senses in evoking compassion. Prices for sending Sympathy Flowers do vary, but you can expect to be able to send a simple arrangement from $30.00. Using an online flower retailer is becoming common practice these days, and indeed significant savings can be made this way. Cheap Sympathy Flowers can be ordered online, or by telephone, from US Funerals Online.
Funeral Flowers are traditionally considered the flower arrangement that is sent to the funeral service. A Funeral Flower arrangement is typically a standing arrangement, most are one-sided and fan-shaped, and they are carefully designed for the purpose of creating a very visible floral tribute at a funeral service. This is why most funeral flower arrangements are designed for display purposes on an easel, or to be laid on or around a casket. As with Sympathy Flowers, Funeral Flowers are sent as an explicit expression of condolences, and are often sent to a funeral service when one is unable to personally attend. Funeral Floral displays are an important aspect of adding colour and grace to a funeral service, helping to create a compassionate ambiance to a somber event. Florists will offer a selection of standing funeral flower arrangements, and prices generally start from around $65.00 with large standing sprays or casket sprays ranging to $300.00.
If you are intending on sending funeral flowers to a church or funeral home for a funeral service, then you may need to consider a few things. Firstly, you may need to establish what the wishes of the family they want floral displays, and would they prefer them to be sent to the funeral home, the cemetery or the church? What time is the service being conducted? The funeral director can normally advise on the families' wishes if you cannot speak directly to the family. However, do be wary of the funeral home offering to arrange flowers for you, as they can often cost more than ordering direct yourself. Florists are extremely understanding of ensuring funeral flowers are delivered in a timely fashion for a funeral service, and many will even offer to call you to confirm their delivery. To view a selection of cheap funeral flowers offered with a 50% discount on full retail price, visit US Funerals Online and view our Funeral Flowers.
What else to consider?
Whether you are selecting sympathy funeral or funeral flowers, you can choose either traditional arrangements, or select flowers and colors that represent special meaning to the bereaved. For example: you may choose colors that help to signify a story about the life of the deceased. It is often considered common for a veteran to be honoured with a red, white and blue floral tribute
What message to send with Funeral Flowers?
Not sure how to convey your condolences? A simple card and message lets the bereaved family know that your thoughts are with them. The common messages used to express condolences are "With deepest sympathy", "Thinking of you in these difficult times", and "My thoughts and prayers are with you".

Article Source: