You and your family are currently experiencing a difficult period in your lives. Someone you love—your mother, father, a grandparent, an aunt or uncle or a close friend—is not well. A terminal illness or the aging process has robbed your loved one of the ability to care for himself or herself, to make his or her own decisions, to handle life’s daily decisions.
You may have assumed the responsibility for the personal care and the business affairs of your family member or friend. You feel sad, uncomfortable, uncertain. Your roles have been reversed. You and your family have always counted upon your mother to be there as the warm, cheerful, supportive center of the family. Your father has always been strong, decisive and independent. Now, they are more frail, less aware of what is happening around them.
You and your family are giving much thought and discussion to arranging for personal care for your family member. You are exploring options such as home care, nursing homes, hospices, private care facilities. You are making arrangements to get Mom’s or Dad’s or a friend’s personal business matters in order. It’s hard to remember every detail. It’s emotionally painful.
As difficult as these routine matters are, one needs to also talk about another difficult decision—funeral arrangements. Everyone knows funeral arrangements are necessary. Everyone in the family wants to provide for a proper funeral.
The funeral service will be part of the healing process, part of the remembering process, and a very important part in saying good-bye to your loved one.
Preparing and planning now can assure the type of funeral service appropriate for your loved one. Eventually, almost one half of—50%, one out of every two—nursing home residents will receive assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). By planning and preparing before your loved one must seek public assistance, you can insure that funds are available for the right type of funeral arrangements for your family member. Your options will be greatly limited if you wait until after your family member is receiving IDHS assistance to plan for arrangements.
Even though it seems difficult, plan now for your family member’s funeral arrangements. The cost of paying for personal care for a loved one can take the financial resources of that family member in a short amount of time. Plan the funeral before circumstances require a person to apply for assistance.
Don’t wait and then discover your loved one has lost an important option—the option of setting aside personal funds for funeral expenses.