COVID 19 - Corona Virus
The Corona Virus is impacting every aspect of life at the moment, and funeral care is no exception. We are having to adapt our service to meet the needs of clients who may be self-isolating. The current preventions are stopping some people from attending funeral ceremonies and most church services are now closed. We are aware that arranging a funeral is an emotionally difficult process under normal conditions, so adding the Corona Virus to things makes it even more challenging.
Making Funeral Arrangements.
For those in self-isolation we have decided to offer that funeral arrangements can made over the phone rather than face-to-face. We will phone you, our client and discuss all aspects of the funeral. We will make all the necessary arrangements via telephone and then we will complete all the necessary paperwork on your behalf. We will then post the documents to you, for signature. We will include a stamped addressed envelope so the documents can be returned to us with minimal interaction. Any payments that need to made can be done via a debit or credit card, and again over the telephone.
Visiting the deceased.
The government is currently recommending that visiting a loved one in a funeral home, be limited to just immediate family. It is part of our normal practice to ensure that our funeral home is as sterile as possible for our visitors. We routinely disinfect door handles and working surfaces anyway. However we are being extra vigilant.
There is some on-going discussion regarding whether the deceased should be presented in an open or closed coffin but as yet no governmental decision. With that in mind we have decided to approach this in as sensible and pragmatic manner as possible. If a person has passed away from causes other than Corona Virus or a known infectious disease, then the coffin can be open when you visit.
If the death is attributed to Corona Virus we will adapt the same measures that we would if someone had passed away from Hepatitis, or HIV, in which case we would recommend the coffin remains closed. This was the same approach taken during 2010 and the N1H1 Swine flu epidemic.
Attending the Funeral .
It may not be possible for everyone to attend the funeral service, either because they are ill or self-isolating. However we are aware that people still want to pay their respects and see the service. Macclesfield Crematorium offer a web cast live streaming service allowing people to watch the funeral service online.
Another alternative is our Cremation Without A Ceremony service, which costs £1199 and is fully inclusive of all disbursements. The deceased is cremated in private and with no family in attendance, a few days later the ashes are returned back to the family. These can then be either scattered, or kept for a later "Thanks Giving" type service, celebration of life, or memorial. Given that we have no idea when normality will return, this could be a useful option.
The government may take further action to counter the Corona Virus outbreak and we may have to adapt to that. But as things stand we are going to be pro-active in our approach, both to protect our clients and to ensure the dignity of their loved ones.
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