With November being Have the Talk of a Lifetime Month, it’s the perfect time for families to talk about preplanning.
Many families understand the importance of preplanning, but there’s still a disconnect between understanding and acting. According to the annual NFDA Consumer Awareness and Preferences Study, 62.5% of participants said it’s important to discuss funeral wishes. However, only 21.4% of these people have actually done so.
Your funeral home can help increase this percentage by participating in the Funeral and Memorial Information Council (FAMIC)’s Have the Talk of a Lifetime Month. By educating families and providing resources, you can help them start the preplanning conversation.
Who Should Have the Talk?
Many times, people wait to have funeral discussions until they’re older or near the end of life. But your funeral home can encourage everyone, no matter their age or health, to have the talk. You can help families realize that the conversation is important at any age. It can be with their parents, spouses, children, siblings, relatives, close friends, or other trusted loved ones.
Where Should Families Have the Talk?
Your funeral home can suggest some places for families to have the talk. You also can ease their minds by reminding them it doesn’t have to be an intimidating event. It can just be a simple conversation over dinner.
For example, here are a few places your funeral home can suggest:
- The dinner table — with Thanksgiving coming up, this is a good opportunity to have the talk with everyone gathered together.
- Family room — sitting in a familiar and comfortable setting can help people relax.
- Favorite restaurant — “the talk” can be a fun outing with good food and conversation.
- Your funeral home — some people may feel more comfortable having the talk at your funeral home. You can let your families know that it’s an option available to them.
How Can Your Funeral Home Help Start the Preplanning Conversation?
Below are a few ways your funeral home can encourage families to talk about their funeral wishes.
Have the Talk of a Lifetime Conversation Cards
The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA)’s Have the Talk of Lifetime Conversation Cards are one way to get people talking. The cards have questions about life events, values, and other topics to get them thinking about how they want to be remembered. It’s a fun way for everyone to learn more about each other and how to honor their life.
Click here to learn about ordering the card decks for your funeral home.
In Case of Emergency (ICE) Book
Another way to help start the conversation is with ICE books. Your funeral home can provide a list of items to include in ICE (In Case of Emergency) books. Or, host an ICE book creation event at your funeral home.
Pinterest is a creative way that families can start the conversation. You can suggest that they create Pinterest boards filled with funeral themes, poems, and other funeral-related pins. Or, have an event to help families create the boards and share them with their loved ones.
Check out our Pinterest page for some funeral inspiration.
Online Preplanning Form
Once families talk about their values and funeral wishes, they can put these ideas into action. An online preplanning form is a great tool for them to start planning.
Does your funeral home participate in Have the Talk of a Lifetime Month? Share your experiences in the comments below!