Do We Have an End Of Life Crisis Coming? The Current Status of the Funeral Home Industry.
As a care manager I perform a wide range of duties for my clients. In some cases I am even a legal decision maker and perform designee duties after their passing. I have planned many funerals over the years and interact with numerous funeral homes across the DC metro area. Always go with family owned and operated. I was recently planning a client funeral and began inquiring more about some of my future concerns for the funeral home industry. I wondered if what I had been reading and discerning was correct and sadly yes my fears for the future are valid! The $20-billion-dollar death industry is about to experience a new crisis. Let me explain more....
The Funeral Home Director was very candid about the recent statistics that Funeral Home Directors are turning over faster than they are being replaced. The average age of a funeral director is 55, so short careers and retirement are leading to the shortage. He continued to explain that people are just not interested in pursuing this industry as a career for the obvious reasons along with others. The job demands of long hours and constant on-call status is looked down on by many young professionals. As a result, some Funeral Homes have gone years with Funeral Director position openings which remain unfilled. Some organizations in response are focusing on a variety of ways to attract and retain staff. Many are attempting to improve salaries and benefits, provide more continuing education, extra vacation days since work in this area can be emotionally draining and more!
So what does this mean for the consumer? An exodus is happening and a shortage impact is definitely coming! In addition to this, possibly even higher prices in the future and limitations in terms of accessibility. I am recommending to all my long term care planning clients to pre plan and pre pay for their funeral. Changes can be made later, but pricing will be at least locked in and in the event of an emergency they will have access to services. This is not happening now, but I see some serious changes coming in the near future and the days for those who do not pre pay not being able to access services timely due to a shortage of staff.
If you are an individual who needs assistance with funeral pre planning, a family member of someone who is in need, or would simply rather have someone else handle this for you please reach out to us today.
We are happy to discuss your preferences for the future and handle all of the onsite specifics and future details so that you do not have to.