Most Americans recognize the importance of pre-planning funerals, particularly for their own, yet only a few practice it, according to the National Funeral Directors Association’s (NFDA) 2017 Consumer Awareness and Preferences Study.
The study showed that 62.5% of consumers, comprising 1,013 respondents, believe that pre-planned funerals help in letting their loved ones know what they want before their death. However, 21.4% of the consumers have already put funeral plans in place.
The cost of prepayment, not thinking about it and prioritizing other matters served as some of the factors for respondents to plan their own funeral, according to the survey. Even if shopping for funeral homes can be an awkward experience, the NFDA advised people to contact or visit funeral service providers to have a clear idea of the expenses involved. A place like Lindquist Mortuaries and Cemeteries know that there are the economical and emotional sides of the bereavement process, and like all good funeral homes, they just want to help.
The study also noted that 34.5% of consumers are “extremely or very interested” in the idea of using therapy animals at a funeral or memorial service. In Utah, funeral service in Roy, Salt Lake City and other cities have included therapy dogs to relax and calm down mourners.
NFDA spokeswoman Jessica Koth said that more funeral homes are using canine therapy, amid changing trends in how they provide services to the deceased and family members. Some psychologists believe that trained dogs serve as a soothing presence for grieving people. By petting a therapy dog, serotonin and dopamine levels increase that in turn could enhance mood, lower stress and improve blood pressure.
Children particularly benefit from the presence of therapy dogs at a funeral, since they may find it too difficult to understand the concept of death.