When a person has been diagnosed with dementia, there are many things to think about. It can be an overwhelming time, as people adjust to the news and begin to think about the changes that are likely to happen.
Yet looking ahead, it can also be a helpful and practical step, as the Alzheimer’s Society explains. “Thinking ahead,” it says, “is a good thing to do. It can help you prepare for a time when it may be difficult for you to make decisions for yourself.”
Talking about what happens when we die is not always an easy subject to broach with the people that we love. But it can be comforting for family to know when the time comes, things were just how someone would have wanted.
Funeral Wishes is an easy way to help people plan the kind of funeral they would prefer. Easy to use, it’s a free online service that makes it simple to make a record of what’s important to them.
Based around 10 questions, it creates a personalised certificate detailing the things that matter most.
Although it’s not always easy to talk about, the 10 Funeral Wishes questions are based around topics that could also help family or carers open up meaningful conversations with someone. What’s your favourite song, or a poem that you love?
When someone they love dies, everyone’s priority is to do the right thing by them. Even simple funeral choices, such as music, matters of faith and words of remembrance, can cause differences among family members who each have their own idea.
Families who have a clear awareness of a loved one’s funeral wishes, can take great comfort in knowing that the service reflected how the person wanted things to be.
*Funeral Wishes* can also spare families the anxiety of considering funeral options that may exceed their budget. At a highly emotional time, costly choices may be regarded as gesture of respect, unaware someone might have preferred a more modest funeral with meaningful personal tributes that money can’t buy.
Funeral Wishes has been created by Funeral Zone, a member of the Dying Matters coalition. Dying Matters aims to open up death positive conversations about dying, death, bereavement and making plans for the end of life, in a society that’s become unfamiliar with death.
Although Funeral Wishes can easily be completed by someone on their own, family members or carers are encouraged to take time to sit down with the person as they reflect and consider what’s important to them. It can be a golden opportunity to learn more about someone through their choices and reminisce about why a particular poem or piece of music holds such significance for them. It may even inspire a ‘death-positive’ conversation about someone else’s funeral thoughts.
Once completed, a personalised Funeral Wishes certificate can be printed out and given to family or friends, or kept somewhere they’ll find it. The Funeral Wishes certificate can also be kept as part of a care home resident’s end of life plan.
To help someone record their Funeral Wishes or to complete your own Funeral Wishes certificate, visit www.funeralzone.co.uk/funeral-wishes. It costs nothing to do, but could be a valuable legacy for the people who’ll feel reassured by carrying out the things that mattered most.