8 Unique and Growing Trends in Death Care Services
Deathcare services play an important role as we grieve, and small businesses have begun embracing new technology and offering enhanced options for families.
Deathcare services play an important role in helping us through the process of loss. This includes in the emotional sense, as well as inefficient ways. The most commonly known death care services include funeral services, burial or cremation, and memorials and headstones.
In the United States, most death care services providers are small businesses. They are often family-owned. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that small businesses and solopreneurs are revolutionizing death care services by embracing new technology. Below, we will discuss eight unique and growing trends that may change how we view modern death care services.
Aquamation and Bio-Cremation
Aquamation is the common name for a process called alkaline hydrolysis. As an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional cremation, it is quickly growing in popularity. It speeds up the body’s natural decomposition process to complete in just a few hours.
Aquamation utilizes water and low temperatures, and it results in ashes. Not only is it better for the environment, but it offers a more comforting alternative to the mental picture of a burning body, too.
Bio-cremation is a similar process to aquamation. It involves using chemicals to liquefy the body’s tissues, leaving only bones behind. The bones are then treated as they are in traditional cremation so that they result in ashes. This process takes the same amount of time as traditional cremation, but it uses just a fraction of the energy. The liquefied remains are environmentally safe, as well.
Those inside the funeral services industry know all too well that casket design has not changed much in the past 70 years. However, several designers are now producing modern-style caskets that offer a new aesthetic for families to choose from as they select caskets for themselves or loved ones. Replacing antiquated designs allows families to add design sensibility and beauty to burial. These modern caskets are also cost-effective.
Many families are looking for well-crafted, thoughtfully designed urns. They want their loved one’s ashes to find an eternal home in an understated, elegant, and functional work of art. Unfortunately, most funeral homes have not traditionally offered such options. In recent years, however, a niche has developed. It is now possible to find beautiful urns featuring details such as wood inlays and personalized engraving.
Digital Death Planning
Death, like many things in life, requires quite a bit of paperwork. Of course, this can be very trying practicality for a grieving family. Luckily, several companies are now offering online platforms that allow funeral homes to offer families a digital option for purchases, for signing necessary paperwork, and with the bonus of enhanced price transparency. With so much potential for simplifying a challenging process, it comes as no surprise that the use of these digital death planning platforms is growing rapidly among funeral directors.
Digital End-of-Life Planning
With digital death planning on the rise, it only makes sense that new platforms for end-of-life planning are emerging, too. They allow anyone to plan their preferences for end-of-life and store them digitally. You can also store important documents like wills and cemetery plans all in one convenient location. This type of platform is an easy-to-use and informative tool. In addition, allowing users to store life insurance documents could vastly cut down on the unclaimed life insurance problem in the United States.
High-End Memorial Jewelry
Memorial gemstones and diamonds have been growing in popularity over the last decade. After all, it can be a great comfort to have a necklace, bracelet, or ring that memorializes your loved one and is also a beautiful accessory. Now, companies are beginning to provide high-end memorial jewelry, especially diamonds. Most often, these diamonds are lab-grown using actual ashes from a loved one or pet. They are designed by some of the world’s foremost diamond jewelry experts.
Unique Memorial Keepsakes
While jewelry made from cremation ashes has been popular for some time, there is now a unique alternative. Science has made it possible for a cremation to result in not ashes but in something called a “parting stone” that family members could hold in their hands or display in their homes.
Natural Burial and Mummification
Sometimes, the future marks a return to old ways. That may be the case with the growing trend of natural burial. Natural burial is an easy choice for people concerned with the environmental effects of embalming or who prefer natural decomposition. There is no embalming before burial, and many people choosing natural burial to opt for a simple shroud instead of a coffin. It allows for natural, faster decomposition, and many people like the idea of contributing to the natural ecosystem once they die. This trend of allowing the body to rejoin the cycle of life has been growing rapidly over the last decade. In fact, there are now more than fifty natural burial cemeteries in the United States. In addition, many traditional cemeteries are creating natural burial sections.
Conversely, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of mummification, too. Reportedly, it is favored by those who wish to preserve their DNA for eternity or future scientific use.
The Future of Death Care Services
As more people opt for green burials or other non-traditional death care services, the industry will continue to evolve. While some of the options available today may not interest those who prefer more traditional services, new choices in the market may affect cost savings for consumers across the board.
As you consider your own final disposition or make plans for a loved one, remember to consider all the available options. Deathcare services are no longer one-size-fits-all, and it’s possible to craft plans that are unique and meaningful to you and your loved ones.