Two tips for helping an elderly relative arrange their spouse's funeral

9 December 2020
 Categories: , Blog


If the spouse of one of your elderly relatives has died and they would prefer to handle the bulk of the funeral arranging tasks themselves, but you suspect they may need some help, here are some ways that you can assist them without being bothersome.

Help them to converse with the funeral home staff via a video conferencing app

Whilst a lot of the funeral arrangements can be organised over the phone, there are certain tasks, such as the selection of the casket and of the room for the funeral service, that cannot. Normally, the person who needs to make these decisions would go and meet the funeral director at the funeral home so that they could view the available caskets and rooms in person. However, if your elderly relative no longer drives, finds taking public transport stressful or has mobility problems, then you could help them out in this situation by setting up a video conferencing session for them with the funeral director.

This would provide your relative with the visual aid they need to make informed choices regarding the caskets and the funeral home and thus spare them a potentially stressful, painful and tiring trip to and from the funeral home. If this goes well, they may even be able to have another video conferencing session with the florist they've chosen for the funeral and pick out the funeral wreaths via this app, too.

Offer to clean up and deal with the flowers after the post-funeral reception

When the funeral and the post-funeral reception is over, your relative may need to do quite a bit of cleaning up (if the reception takes place on their property) and may need to decide what to do with all of the funeral flowers they receive. At this point, he or she might appreciate your help cleaning up their property and perhaps taking the flowers to the graveside or dividing them up and putting them in vases around their home.

The reason for this is that most people find arranging and taking part in funerals to be exhausting, especially when the funeral is held for a close loved one, such as a spouse, and when they themselves are elderly and perhaps quite frail. When the exhaustion hits your relative after the funeral, they would probably find it very helpful to have someone like you go around their home and return everything to its rightful place so that they are not forced to exert themselves any further or to put up with living in a messy home for several days.