Computers have become a staple in the lives of human beings, such that it is difficult to imagine that there was a point in time when they did not exist. In an effort to remain current with technology, some funeral homes have incorporated the use of technology in how loved ones say their final farewells.
The Toronto Star recently featured an article about a funeral home that allows distant loved ones to say goodbye by watching the funeral service being streamed over the internet. It sounds eerie, and certainly, there will always be concerns about internet security, but for Brantford trooper Larry Zuidema Rudd, who died when a roadside bomb exploded, having an online funeral service allowed more then 40 of his colleagues in Afghanistan to pay their final respects from their distant base.
The so-called “sympathy casts,” have been growing in popularity. Helen Zuidema, the mother of our fallen solider Zuidema Rudd, says that the sympathy casts have “brought our family together without them having to come here … they’re still talking about it months later.” Zuidema still scans the funeral site, along with its many photos, tributes and messages, about once a week. “It brings back a lot of memories that you kind of forget when you are grieving,” says Zuidema.
For funeral homes, embracing the advances of technology has created an appreciation amongst loved ones, faraway friends and relatives, who can now be included in saying their final farewell.
BBC News recently commented on a study published in the Lancet journal that shows more than half the babies now born in the UK and other wealthy nations will live to be 100 years old. The data from the study indicates that these extra years would be spent with less serious disabilities for the elderly.
The researchers, from the Danish Aging Research Center, refer to “four ages of man”-child, adult, young old age and old old age. Surprisingly, there was little evidence that those who belonged in the old old age group were unhealthier that those in the young old age group likely because the frailest elderly died first leaving the more robust to survive past the age of 85. Danish and American studies show that about 30%-40% of those falling into the old old group live independently.
Of course, such a development requires countries to reform their health-care services, employment practices, and care services. In the U.K., with an election looming, the Tory party has promised a Home Protection Plan that would allow people at the age of 65 to make a one time payment plan of £8,000 pounds in exchange for free full-time residential care in later life. This proposed policy addresses the issue of the elderly having to sell their houses in exchange for funding care giving services.
A significant longer life expectancy requires careful retirement and estate planning. If this trend towards increased life expectancy continues, long standing assumptions will have to be altered.
Thanks for reading,
Diane Vieira – Click here for more inforamtion on Diane Vieira.
Listen to Deductions from Compensation.
This week on Hull on Estates and Succession Planning, Ian and Suzana finish up the discussion on the question of accounting by reviewing deductions from compensation and briefly sum up the procedure of the passing of accounts.