Does dementia reduce “funeral spend”



“Out of sight, out of mind”.


That’s a refrain I’ve heard often.  Generally, it refers to when you have not seen somebody or something for a length of time then that person or that thing falls out of your thought process.  It’s common sense and it happens.


At Funeral Director Daily I like to write articles about finances and acquisitions and new products.  I spend time looking for appropriate articles and while I’m looking I come across some interesting articles and sometimes wonder, “How would that relate to funeral services?”


That happened the other day when I came across this article from the Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, entitled, “Cost of dementia on the rise”.  I read the article out of a personal interest of someone who lost a cousin I loved dearly to early-age dementia (about age 55) and death (age 64) and simply because of that I wanted to learn more.


I learned alot in reading the article and also came away with a funeral-related potential issue.  The article states that the “average life expectancy of a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is around eight to ten years. . .and some may live 15 to 20 years.”  The “out of sight, out of mind” quote came to mind.


Tom Anderson
Funeral Director Daily

While I believe that dementia does not always “limit” a life, does it have an effect on what type of funeral or cremation or other memorial service is selected for that person?  My thought process here goes to something every funeral home owner or manager has seen in that a funeral for a life cut-short by accident, such as an automobile accident to someone in the prime of life, generally sees a large type of funeral or memorial service because of the “suddeness” of the death.  And, many times it is not only “large” in attendance, but large by “scale” of how the client family chooses to memorialize and remember.


With that train of thought, would families tend to limit the “scale” of memorialization or remembrance by someone who has not been as visible or available to his friends and acquaintances for the past 8 to 10 years?  I’m guessing that there is a difference in service types, but I don’t know.  And, I don’t know if anyone has ever tried to quantify the data on such.


Today’s article is just something to ponder as we move forward.  It should also serve notice as another reason why funeral homes should continually drive home the value of preneed.  In the case of dementia, not only will it preserve the dignity of the service one wished to have, but putting away the financial amounts necessary to pay for the service may turn out to be a blessing for those families who are racked with the financial costs of living with dementia.


Here are some interesting takes about dementia from the linked article:

  • Every 65 seconds in America, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease
  • Approximately 6.7 million Americans 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s disease.  That’s about 10.7% of that population cohort.
  • Experts expect about 13 million Americans 65 and older to be living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2050.


Related— Here are a couple of more articles that I found on today’s subject


More news from the world of Death Care:


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