The Effects of Baby Boomers on the Funeral Industry

The baby boomers – known as the generation that redefined traditional values and were a major catalyst in changes to lifestyle and social norms – are continuing to live up to their reputation, even as they begin to face end-of-life realities.

With just under 25 percent of the U.S. population over age 55 in 2011 (according to the Census Bureau), it has become apparent that funeral service providers need to pay attention to the unique demands of these consumers, who like to plan ahead and want to customize every detail of their final arrangements.

We see a great deal of this in the services we provide at our firms.  We have hosted funerals where food / passed hors d’oeuvres are provided during the services, jazz and rock bands have played, Harley Davidson’s are used in the funeral procession, with the urn strapped to it, and where classic and muscle cars were used in the funeral procession.   Of course customized caskets, urns and keepsakes are also a growing trend.  We are continuously kept on our toes with new and unique requests and our funeral directors are tasked with thinking outside the box, to meet the growing demand for these value-added services.

CNBC recently published a very interesting article on this topic, which I invite you to read:

Phaneuf Funeral Homes Professional Training Programs

One little knownaspect of what we do at Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium is conduct training programs and workshops for caregivers and those in the healthcare field.  At first blush, there may seem to be a disconnect in a funeral home providing this sort of training.  However, we have found that nearly all caregivers have not had sufficient training and lack the knowledge as to what happens after someone in their care passes away. 

 Recently, we provided a two hour workshop to over 60 nursing students on the funeral arrangment process.  Most of these young (and not so young) students had no idea what the process was about.  Yet, many newly licensed nurses will have their first job experience in nursing home and assisted living facilities.  Clearly, this sort of training can only assist them in providing valuable information to their client families.  Earlier this month, we conducted an evening workshop for hospice volunteers on funeral and cremation options.  Again, these volunteers are on the front lines,  speaking with families.  Arming them with knowledge only helps them manage the process.  Another group we recently provided training to was a local nursing home.  Most of the workshop focused on the process of filing death certificates and legal issues around autopsies and the role of the medical examiners office.  These are topics of importance to these professionals yet not something taught in nursing school or any other caregiver program.

We provide our training programs both on-site and off  site and offer it free of charge.  If you work for a nursing home, hospice program, hospital or other caregiver organization in New Hampshire and would like more information about one of free programs, please give me a call at 625-5778 or email me at