How to Help a Senior Through the Funeral Planning Process

funeral planning

Losing a loved one can bring about unimaginable grief. For anyone, let alone a senior grieving for their spouse, the funeral planning process can be overwhelming. By providing support, you can help lessen the strain placed on a senior’s shoulders and give them the strength to move through the pain.


No matter the cause, planning after the loss of a loved one is complex. The bereaved need as much support planning the funeral as they will during and after the final goodbye. Financial consideration is a must. A headstone can be purchased through a cemetery or from a funeral director. Prepayment is a common option, but there are a number of pitfalls with it. It will be essential to research any payment services offered and to verify the credentials of a mortuary. Preplanning funds could be channeled through a personal bank account, or a burial policy could be purchased from an insurance company. Your senior may have many ideas on how to organize the funeral or may conversely be overwhelmed. Give advice, be there to listen, and offer a shoulder to cry on. Be vigilant against a senior feeling pressured to spend lavishly. If it is their decision, support it, but make sure that it’s sustainable and won’t put them in financial peril.


There are a number of options available when organizing a funeral. The funeral home may provide a package deal. It would be a good idea to request an itemized list to give the bereaved absolute flexibility in the deal selected. By examining the contents of the bundle, one can ensure that it encompasses everything for the funeral and reflects the senior’s wishes. If a traditional burial is picked, your senior can pursue a variety of casket choices, including buying from the funeral home or a wholesaler.

The Day Itself

You cannot be fully prepared to say goodbye to a loved. It’s important after a loss that the bereaved are given ample support, but they should have enough space that they feel comfortable to grieve at their own pace. The day of the funeral will be immensely difficult. Emotional support will be essential, but so will practical elements. Consider helping them pick out their attire, prepping meals, and accompanying them when they travel to the funeral. Additionally, it may be wise to go over how they might respond to comments, condolences, or questions that could be insensitive or poorly worded. They may not feel up to fulfilling some of the niceties of a funeral, like greeting mourners and acknowledging condolences. If this is the case, you could provide a reassuring presence to provide both support and act as a buffer.


Following the funeral, there will still be much that has to be done. While this is a time of grieving and of processing the loss of a loved one, future considerations have to be planned for. You might help a loved one place a notice or obituary in a newspaper. If this is too distressing, then a funeral home may provide the service. Practically, various places, like social security and utility companies, will need to be contacted while it will have to be established what entitlements the senior is eligible for. Long-term planning must also be considered. After the loss of your senior’s loved one, it may be wise to explore a power of attorney for future health and legal decisions. They may need to make changes to insurance coverage, including health care and homeowner’s, and calculate enduring expenses, such as taxes. Isolation will be another long-term consideration to think about, so it may be wise to investigate options like caregiving or assisted living to create a healthier and safer environment.

This will not be an easy time. By its nature, grief can be overwhelming. With the right preparation and support, you can help the senior through this period. It will not erase their sense of loss, but it can help to ease their transition during and after the funeral process.

Image Courtesy of

Speak Your Mind