First Inspector of Funeral Directors appointed in Scotland

We were delighted when it was announced that the first government-appointed Inspector of Funeral Directors in Scotland was to be a woman. A clear indication of how far women have come in the profession in the last thirty years or so. Funeral directors have welcomed Ms McKail’s appointment to the role, which will see her conduct an 18-month review of the profession and advise on potential regulations, will help “shape the future” for funeral professionals and the members of the public they serve. The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF), said their members “overwhelmingly supported” the introduction of…

Why should my business be dementia friendly?

Why would a Funeral business want or need to be dementia friendly? The best way to answer that is to describe three recent funeral arrangements, all of which involved a person living with dementia. The first example was an elderly lady who asked us to arrange her husband’s funeral. He had died in a care home from dementia. The lady, let’s call her Joan, was as grief stricken as any other new widow that I have worked with in over 30 years as a funeral professional. However she had an additional burden in that she had been parted for many…

Dont leave it until it’s too late!

  For the last year I have been leading a group of amazing people in Tonbridge who are all committed to making our community one which is dementia friendly. I am passionate about the subject having had a great deal of contact with people who are living with dementia. I had two Aunts and an Uncle who all had dementia and so I witnessed at first hand the difficulties that confronted both them and my cousins as they cared for them. I began my working life as a nurse, working in both of our local hospitals, Pembury and Kent and…

The future of alternative memorials

The future of alternative memorials Cremation is becoming increasingly common in the UK with over 70% of us now choosing this option. The practice of cremation is often undertaken for religious or cultural reasons, but its increasing popularity could also be seen as a result of its comparative cost effectiveness to burial. When opting for cremation, you will be asked what you would like done with your ashes – a difficult question and one with many options. Some of the more well-known choices include burying the ashes in your local cemetery, scattering them, or simply having them displayed in an…

If I were a Refugee

If I were a refugee, how would I feel if I saw my children sleeping on the bare earth, cold and hungry?If I were a refugee, how would I feel if the land of my birth, which I love, is now a place of terror and hatred from which I had to flee with my babies to a hostile land where I am seen as human garbage? If I were a refugee how would I feel if I was a Doctor and was now treated like a worthless nobody?  If I were a refugee how would I feel if I…

HOW SAFE IS MY FUNERAL PLAN?

Quite recently our local newspaper, radio and regional television was full of reports that fairly made my hackles rise. The reports stated that a funeral director in this area had allegedly sold funeral plans to a local couple and then ceased trading and disappeared with the couple’s life savings of four thousand pounds. It’s reasonable to expect that if this person sold two funeral plans, he is very likely to have sold more and that this is not an isolated incident but the tip of a very large iceberg. You can imagine how we all felt, justifiable anger at yet…

Making Tonbridge a Dementia Friendly Community

By 2015 there will be 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. There are 40,000 younger people with dementia in the UK. There will be 1 million people with dementia in the UK by 2025. If you were to ask most people “what is dementia?” they would probably say “Alzheimers”. To a point that is true; Dementia is caused by a number of diseases that affect the brain, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s Disease. Different types of dementia affect the brain at different rates and in different ways, but other things like someone’s personal circumstances, the people around…

Bee suits and bee houses. Bee Blog 4

It’s a few months since I wrote my last ‘Bee’ blog which is, mainly, because nothing much has happened since I prepared the area of garden where my bees and their hive or hives will eventually reside.   The autumn has been mostly spent working my way through an excellent book called ‘Bee Keeping for Dummies’ and watching my recordings of Martha Carney’s Hive Alive programmes. Both have given me a fairly in depth view of this new fascinating hobby. Being very slightly OCD I am a great believer in being well prepared for any and all events, whether that’s a dinner…

’Tis the season to be jolly’ unless you’re grieving.

    I’ve just returned from the third Friends Together meeting I have attended this week. Friends Together is a charity devoted to supporting people who have suffered a significant bereavement and, through its network of lunch clubs and social activities, Friends Together, strives to tackle the loneliness and isolation which often follows. During these last few days many of the attendees have expressed how much they dread Christmas. Many of them will be entertained by family and friends on the day itself, but, all too often, that serves to highlight their loss. Returning home on Christmas night to an…