cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD

What Causes Healthy Young People to Die from COVID-19?

Determining the cause of death can be one of the cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD. When elderly people die, autopsies are seldom performed, unless there is some external evidence that they died an unnatural death. However, when younger people die suddenly, it is very common for autopsies to be performed to determine the cause of death.

As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the United States and the rest of the world, the working premise of health care professionals is that older people, especially those with other health conditions, are more likely to develop the worst symptoms of COVID-19 and to die from them.

That makes sense from a scientific standpoint. However, as the pandemic continues its march across the world, more and more cases of young healthy people contracting COVID-19, developing serious symptoms, and dying from it are emerging.

Consider 30-year-old Ben Luderer of New Jersey. His wife and he both were infected with COVID-19. His wife had some mild symptoms and got better. Ben’s symptoms were mild at first, as well, but on Friday, March 27, 2020, they suddenly became serious enough that Ben decided he needed to go to the hospital.

Ben’s wife drove him to the emergency room. While she waited in the car (because no visitors were allowed into the hospital), Ben received oxygen, fluids, and Tylenol. He was sent home later that night with the instructions to “Keep doing what you’re doing.”

By Sunday, Ben began to feel better and looked like he was over the hump of the worst of the symptoms of COVID-19. He got up and he ate dinner for the first time in days.

However, within a few hours, Ben’s serious symptoms returned, including profuse sweating and difficulty breathing. His wife asked Ben if he needed to go back to the hospital. Ben said he wasn’t sure.

Ben and his wife were sleeping apart in line with quarantine protocol, but they texted back and forth from the bedroom, where Ben was, and the living room, where his wife was. They worked on getting Ben’s breathing regulated and getting his raging fever under control.

Ben finally was able to go to sleep. His wife fell asleep listening to the now-rhythmic sound of Ben’s breathing. When she woke up at 2 a.m., she checked on Ben and his breathing seemed normal and unlabored. However, when she awoke at 6 a.m., she didn’t hear Ben breathing. He had died in the four hours since she’d last looked in on him.

These COVID-19 deaths have doctors puzzled because there are no underlying health issues or aging concerns that those who they think have a greater risk of dying have.

However, there are some suspects that may be identified as culprits when the virus is better understood. One suspect is a gene variation in the ACE2 gene. ACE2 is an enzyme that attaches to the outside surface of the heart and the lungs, and researchers think that some sort of mutation in this gene may make it harder or easier for COVID-19 to penetrate cells in the lungs.

Another suspect is the substance that the body produces that helps the lungs contract and expand well. This is known as surfactant. If the body produces enough of this substance, the lungs work very well when they expand and contract (easy breathing). If the body doesn’t produce enough, the lungs get rigid and don’t expand and contract well (labored breathing).

cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD

These are just two of the unknowns about COVID-19. There are many more. With time, answers will come. Until then, stay safe.

If you want information about cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD, you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A.

funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD

How to Comfort a Grieving Child

Funerals at funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD affect every person they touch. When loved ones die, the entire family is profoundly affected by the loss. While you may tend, when a loved one in your family dies, to focus on the grief of the adults in the family.

Their grief, while individually experiencing their own unique type of grief, has similar features, looks familiar, and evokes familiar responses. However, the children in the family often get overlooked, even though they’ve experienced a loss too.

While children may not fully understand the concept of death and what it means for them in relation to their loved one who has died, children do understand absence and loss. This may be one thing that causes them to grieve.

Another thing that may cause children to grieve after the death of a loved one is seeing their immediate family members grieve. There is something incredibly sad about seeing the adults you love, look up to, and depend on to dry your tears and help you through your sadness crying tears that you don’t know how to dry and exhibiting sadness that you don’t know how to help them with.

These are only two of the spokes of grief that children may experience when there has been a death of a close family member. There are many others. However, children seldom express grief, which for them can be accompanied by sadness, fear, anxiety, and anger, in the way that adults do.

Children tend to act out more, not want to go to sleep, and be more fearful of everything when they are grieving. They may be more aggressive with each other and they may have a short fuse about both big and little things (everything may turn into a battle).

As an adult, you should pay special attention to your children to make sure that their grief is being addressed, explained, and comforted.

To address your children’s grief, you have to talk about it. This often means putting your own grief aside to let your kids know that you are sad and you know they are sad as well. Let them know that you are there for them and they can talk with you about how they’re feeling. Help them to understand that sad, fearful, anxious, and angry feelings are normal when we experience a loss.

Let them ask questions. Because children don’t understand all the nuances of death and loss, they have a lot of questions. Explain each answer in language they can understand, but make sure you are open and honest with them.

There will be a lot of questions from your children along the way when they are grieving. Sometimes, those questions will come out of the blue, seemingly in isolation from anything else that is happening at that moment. But, for your children, these questions are the product of their own processing of grief, loss, and death, so make sure to take the time to listen to them and to answer them.

Language is extremely important when you’re discussing death and grief with your children. Our culture has a lot of euphemisms for death (“gone to sleep,” “passed away,” “left for their heavenly home,” and others) that can actually make death much murkier – and scarier – for your children.

If you tell your children, for example, that a loved one who has died has gone to sleep, they may suddenly develop a fear of going to sleep themselves because they believe they won’t wake up. While your intentions may be to soften the blow of death and to provide comfort for your children’s grief, you may, by simply using a euphemism, plant another fear in them.

If you’d like to know more about grief resources at funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A.

cremation services offered in Greenbelt, MD

Find Purpose in Your Life While You’re Alive

Sharing stories and memories are part of the cremation services heard in Greenbelt, MD. They paint a picture of someone who was loved and who has died. How you live now is what will influence the kinds of stories and memories that are shared at your cremation services.

Living life with purpose – find what is meaningful for you, important to you, and what you’re passionate about and incorporate it into the fabric of your life – is something you can start doing today. Perhaps you already have elements of this in your life, but they are not as fully integrated nor do you get to embrace them as often as you’d like to.

You may be passionate about helping other people. Whether you’re the person who always takes a meal to the neighbor whose loved one died, who had a baby, or who has a family member who is sick or in the hospital, or you’re involved in serving the needs of people in your community by volunteering, you may find that you don’t get to take advantage of these opportunities as much as you’d like because you’re too busy doing other things.

It’s always helpful when you want to have a purpose in your life and everything else seems to be getting in the way to stop and think about the day you die. What are you doing now that will matter then and what won’t?

Most of us don’t like to contemplate our own deaths, but when you stop to think about the end, it gives you a chance to rethink the present and focus on those things that matter most in life. The Pulitzer-Prize winning Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman wrote a soul-searching column about this in “The Company Man.”

We can get so focused on the busyness of our lives – much of which can be spent running in circles without getting anywhere or jumping from one thing to another or trying to juggle several things at the same time and never getting anything accomplished – that we lose the purpose and the passion of our lives.

We can be strangers to our own families and mysteries to our neighbors and friends because we never stopped to share our lives, our hopes, our dreams, and our passions with them. Is that the way you want to die? Of course not.

So, now is the time to reclaim your life and fill it with purpose and meaning. Purpose and meaning often come into your life when you change your focus from yourself to other people. We live in a society that encourages focus on “me” and “I.”

Look at your social media accounts right now. For the most part, they are full of posts from people talking about themselves, admiring themselves, and espousing their ideas and their opinions. They’re looking for people to admire them as much as they admire themselves and every thumbs up or heart gives them that hit of dopamine that reinforces their focus on themselves.

But dopamine rushes from adulation are temporary and they don’t fill your soul in a deep and meaningful way that purpose, with a focus on helping, serving, and doing for other people – even if it’s just your immediate family or your closest group of friends – does.

When you die, your purpose and your passion will be interwoven in the stories and memories shared about you. That will be the legacy of your life and what you will pass on to those you leave behind.

If you want more information about cremation services offered in Greenbelt, MD, you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A.

funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD

Grief Upon Grief

After funerals at funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD, your grief begins to settle in as the reality that you’ve lost someone you love becomes fact in your mind and in your emotions. Grieving at any time is a difficult journey to walk through, but you may find that, right now, it’s not just difficult. It seems overwhelming.

There are a lot of reasons for that and you should be aware of them. As the COVID-19 sweeps across the United States, we are besieged with stories and images of death. The stories are heartbreaking as this pandemic escalates in its unrelenting and seemingly random selection of victims.

The images of large facilities being converted into temporary morgues in large urban areas is disturbing. The impact on daily life and routines, as we knew it before the COVID-19 pandemic, is unfamiliar (i.e., you can’t go back to the old routine you had before your loved one died) and unsettling. The rhetoric around the pandemic is inconsistent and, sometimes, incoherent, creating confusion and fear.

The death of your loved one created a huge change in your life. Suddenly and simultaneously, COVID-19 is bombarding you with a lot of other changes, some great and some small, but all requiring adjustment.

When you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, one of the most compelling things that are on your mind, whether consciously or unconsciously is “no more changes.” When a loved one dies, you need time to work through the grieving process without more upheaval.

You may find that you’re reluctant to move anything in your home after your loved one’s death. If your loved one was terminally ill and was in hospice care at home, you may find yourself overcome with emotion when the medical supply company comes to take away the equipment (hospital bed, oxygen concentrator or tanks, etc.) they provided for your loved one’s care.

You may leave your loved one’s things exactly where they were at the time they died. Clothes will stay folded in drawers or hanging in closets because removing them is another change. You may keep personal items on dressers or cabinets because moving them would be another change.

The change of learning to live without someone you love is part of what comes out of the grieving process. But suddenly having to deal with a lot of other changes that come from external sources on top of this big change in your life can have a dramatic effect on you while you’re grieving.

While that’s one reason you may be feeling overwhelmed as you grieve the loss of your loved one, the other reason is that you are experiencing grief upon grief.

You have the personal grief of the death of someone you love. Placed on top of that – and, to some extent, combined with it – is the grief of people around you, in your town, in your county, in your state, in your country because they’re loved ones are dying. It can be too much.

Perhaps it’s time to take a break from most of the 24/7 world that technology brings us. While there are many wonderous things about all the technology we have, there is also a saturation level that comes with it that can feel like it’s drowning you emotionally.

Consider limiting the time you spend catching up with the news. Consider limiting your time on social media. Consider, instead, spending more time connecting with family members and close friends who can encourage, comfort, and support you while you’re grieving.

Bad news and change are constants in life. COVID-19 has made change and bad news an epidemic. But you can protect yourself by distancing yourself from you and getting the nurturing and protection you need from those who love and care for you the most.

If you’d like to know more about grief resources at funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A.

cremation services offered in Beltsville, MD

Cremation Services Regulations

All cremation services offered in Beltsville, MD must follow industry and government regulations. Some of the laws and rules about cremation services differ slightly at the state level, but there are several that are the same or similar throughout the United States.

One regulation is that all cremations must be authorized by a designated family member. Usually, this is the person who is the executor of the deceased’s will or their trustee. If the deceased dies intestate (without a will or trust), then the next of kin rules apply as to who can authorize the cremation.

In Maryland, the next of kin is defined as:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Siblings

If no spouse survives and children are under the age of 18, then the deceased’s parents are the default next of kin if they are living; otherwise, the deceased’s siblings are the default next of kin.

Cremations cannot be done without a cremation permit. The funeral home will obtain the cremation permit from the designated local government agency once they have filed the death certificate and cremation authorization for the deceased.

All funeral homes and crematories that offer cremation services must have cremation provider licenses. This means that funeral homes and crematories are licensed and certified by governing agencies and ensures that they adhere to all rules and regulations, which are designed to preserve the dignity and respect of the deceased and to protect consumers from fraudulent practices.

Caskets are not required for cremations. However, most American states require that people who are cremated be placed in rigid, fully combustible (with no metal) containers before they are cremated. If you want your loved one cremated in a casket, the funeral home can help you select a fully combustible casket prior to your loved one’s cremation.

There are very strict laws in place about how cremation remains can be handled and what can and can’t be done with them. For example, one person’s cremation remains can’t be mixed with another person’s cremation remains without explicit permission given by the deceased before they died (for instance, in the case of spouses).

In most cases, however, where spouses die at the same time and are cremated, even if they’re placed together in an urn or columbarium niche, their remains are placed in separate plastic bags and put inside the urn or container side by side.

Additionally, there are specific laws about where cremation remains can be scattered. For instance, if you want to scatter your loved one’s cremation remains on private property that you and your family don’t own, then you are required to get the property owner’s permission before you scatter the remains. As well, if you want to scatter cremation remains at a public beach or in a national park, you need to check with the governing agency for either rules or permission before doing so.

When a loved one is being cremated and the body must be transported from one state to another, the body may need to be embalmed. Usually, if more than 24 hours elapse after your loved one dies, then the body will need to be embalmed for transportation. In general, most interstate transportation of deceased loved ones will take more than 24 hours to complete, so it is very likely that they will need to be embalmed at the funeral home where they are being transported from.

The funeral home will arrange for interstate transportation by hearse (if the distance is drivable) or airline (if the distance isn’t drivable) and they will provide appropriate containers for the transportation of the deceased for either mode.

If you want more information about cremation services offered in Beltsville, MD, you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A.

funeral homes in Beltsville, MD

Working Through Grieving

After funerals at funeral homes in Beltsville, MD, you will have to, usually sooner rather than later, resume the routine activities of life. When you’re grieving, even the most mundane of these activities, like taking the trash to the curb each week or going grocery shopping, may seem monumentally difficult.

Going back to work is perhaps one of the toughest challenges you will face after the death of someone you love. There are many reasons for this.

One reason is that, in our modern society, there is no time to grieve or mourn. Most companies give a short bereavement time (three workdays is common; some are paid and some are unpaid) before the bereaved return to work.

You will experience a lot of mixed emotions and feelings when you return to work as you juxtapose the major life event you’ve experienced against business as usual on the job. It can seem quite surreal, and you may feel like you’re a foreigner in a place where you know nothing about what is going on in this new location where you find yourself.

These feelings and thoughts can seriously disrupt your ability to function at work, at least initially. Additionally, there is always the likely possibility that you will not get the empathy and support of your coworkers so that you can ease back into work while you’re grieving. You also are very apt to have people make insensitive or hurtful comments (perhaps not intentional) that will compound your feelings of grief.

Grief is a process, not an event. It may take weeks, months, or even years to work through when you lose someone you love. The grieving process has a tremendous impact on you physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is exhausting and you will, no doubt, find yourself feeling very tired all the time and easily overwhelmed by even the smallest things.

Grief disrupts your body’s physiology. Two common physiological problems that emerge during the grieving process are disrupted sleep patterns and mental fogginess. Both of these can take a toll on your ability to work and to be productive at work.

No matter, however, how much grief is internally taking a toll on you, there are a few guidelines that can help you work through grieving.

One guideline is to always take the high road professionally. People do insensitive things and they will say insensitive things. Whether these actions or words are intentional or not, it’s important for you to be professional regardless. Don’t respond emotionally and do your best not to react emotionally.

Another guideline is to get grief counseling. The funeral home has many community resources for informal and formal grief counseling, so talk with the funeral director about access to these resources. If a particular type of grief counseling doesn’t fit your style and temperament, then try something else. Not everyone, for example, is comfortable in group settings or in one-on-one counseling. But, it’s important to keep looking until you find a method that works best for you.

Third, if your employer has a work-from-home option either full-time or a few days a week, consider taking advantage of it until you are emotionally and mentally far enough down the road in the grieving process to be able to competently handle being back in an office environment.

If you’d like to know more about grief resources at funeral homes in Beltsville, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A.

cremation services in Burtonsville, MD

Planning Cremation Services

Planning cremation services in Burtonsville, MD is something that your funeral director is very familiar with. The funeral home can give you guidance and provide all the support you need to make sure that cremation services for your loved one go smoothly and fulfill all the needs and wishes that you and your family have in the wake of your loss.

The first step in the cremation services process is the transportation of your loved one’s body from the place of death to the funeral home. If your loved one died in a hospital, someone from the hospital staff will make these transportation arrangements. If your loved one was in hospice care at home, the hospice nurse who comes at the time of death will contact the funeral home for transport.

One or two staff members will come to your home to remove your loved one’s body and take it to the funeral home. The process is very dignified and your loved one’s body – and you and your family – are given utmost respect throughout this process.

The second part of planning cremation services is to decide what type of cremation you want for your loved one. There are two different options: direct cremation and traditional cremation.

When you choose a direct cremation, your loved one is cremated without a service before their cremation. People who chose direct cremation for their loved ones typically hold a memorial service or some other type of service (scattering the cremation remains, etc.) at a later date.

The benefit of having a direct cremation with a service at a later time is that it gives you and your family time to plan a unique way to remember your loved one and it gives those who wish (if the service is public) or those who are invited (if the service is private) the time to plan to be at the service. This is especially helpful if people will be traveling to the service and need to make work, travel, and lodging arrangements.

When you choose a traditional cremation for your loved one, a service is held before they are cremated. You may choose to have a visitation or viewing, which is then followed by the service. If you choose to have a viewing and have the body of your loved one at the service, you will be required to have the body embalmed (having the body embalmed is not required for direct cremations or for cremations, such as in the Jewish faith, that occur within a day or two after death).

To have your loved one cremation, the funeral home will require you to sign a cremation authorization form. The cremation authorization form gives the funeral home the authority to cremate your loved one, following strict guidelines that ensure that their identity is confirmed throughout the cremation process, ensuring that their cremation remains are the cremation remains that are returned to you.

The next cremation service will be getting death certificates. You will need several copies of the death certificate to handle financial, insurance, and property matters after your loved one’s death. You should plan on getting 15 or 20 copies of the death certificate (you can order additional copies for a fee) to start with.

Finally, you will plan a service to honor the memory of your loved one. You may decide on a more structured memorial service held at the funeral home or a church, or you may decide on a personalized service that highlights a passion or hobby of your loved one. The funeral home will assist you in making all the necessary arrangements.

If you want more information about cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD, you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A.

funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD

Food and Funeral Receptions

When planning funeral receptions at funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD, be sure to include food as part of your reception. Food brings people together and it gives those who attend an opportunity to relax and share warm memories and stories with each other, including the grieving family, about the loved one who has died.

There are many types of food that you can serve at a funeral reception. The funeral director may have caterers available to provide food, or friends may get together to provide it. Food selections can range from a full meal – usually, a potluck where each family brings a dish to be shared – or light snacks.

The timing of the funeral service or graveside service will usually determine what kind of food is served at the funeral reception afterward. If the funeral service or graveside service is held in the middle of the morning, a potluck or catered full meal is often served at the funeral reception. If the funeral service or graveside service is held in the early afternoon, often the food served at the funeral reception will be much lighter fare.

It’s easy to plan what type of food to serve at a funeral reception if it’s a full meal, but you may have a more difficult time deciding what kind of foods to serve if a full meal is not being served. Here are some suggestions that will make your planning easier.

For funeral receptions where a full meal won’t be served, it’s best to stick with a particular type of food instead of trying to provide a variety of different types of food.

Be sure, if you don’t have the funeral home cater the food, that you designate someone – either a friend or a church member, if you’re holding the reception at a church – to organize and assign people to bring the food so you don’t have to add this to your personal funeral tasks to complete.

One type of food that you can serve at a funeral reception is a salad bar. Include a wide variety of greens, fruits, vegetables, and cheeses, along with salad dressings. Having a salad bar is a healthy way to allow everyone to eat, and each person can choose how much they want to eat. For some people attending the funeral reception, this may be their lunch or main meal. For others, it may just be a healthy and light snack.

Another type of food that is popular at funeral receptions are dessert bars. Sweet food offerings bring comfort and they can encourage people to grab an extra couple of coffee and stay a little longer to provide comfort and support. Since many people love to bake, this will give them an opportunity to contribute to the funeral. There should also be fruit and

Sandwiches, chips, and vegetable plates are also a good type of food to serve at funeral receptions. Be sure to have enough varieties of sandwiches to feed children (think peanut butter and jelly) and people who may prefer not to eat meat (vegetable fillings). For sanitation purposes, having individual bags of chips is a good option.

Another idea for light fare at a funeral reception is to provide a fruit, cheese, and crackers bar. Have a variety of crackers, fresh fruit, and cheeses that can satisfy any palate (you can use more pungent cheeses like blue cheese and goat cheese, but the majority of cheeses should be mild in flavor).

If you’d like to know more about funeral reception foods at funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A.

cremation services offered in Greenbelt, MD

Walking Drunk is Deadly

Cremations are one of the cremation services offered in Greenbelt, MD. Some people who die and are cremated have died untimely deaths after being hit by a vehicle while they are walking. Pedestrian deaths are an increasing concern in areas that experiencing a high rate of growth and the increasing vehicle traffic that comes with that growth.

Many pedestrians who are killed are not doing anything wrong or illegal. They are walking in designated walking areas, such as sidewalks or walking trails, or they are legally crossing streets in designated crosswalks going with the traffic flow.

Drivers have become much more careless and less attentive because of all the distractions that can happen inside a vehicle. Distractions can include looking down to see who texted them or a social media update, checking GPS directions, or finding a song on a streaming music service. Distractions can also include talking to other passengers, eating, grooming, or picking something up that fell on the floor.

It takes only an instant of distraction to put pedestrians’ lives in mortal danger. Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable to being killed when they’re hit by a vehicle because they have no protection against the weight and force of something that weighs between 4,000 (the approximate weight of a passenger vehicle) and 80,000 pounds (this is the approximate weight of fully-loaded tractor-trailer trucks).

These kinds of deadly accidents happen every day, and nobody who is walking for recreation or simply to get from one side of the street to the other is immune to become a victim of them.

However, people who spent the night drinking pose another kind of pedestrian death hazard. When the restaurants and bars begin to close in the wee hours of the morning, the sidewalks and streets have more people who are not entirely sober walking on them.

When people aren’t sober, they are less aware of their surroundings and potential dangers. Alcohol dulls the senses so that people may think they’re walking, for instance, on a sidewalk or well of the road, when they are actually walking in the middle of the road.

Alcohol slows thinking perception and reaction time. When someone who is not sober decides to walk across a street, the time between the moment they decide it’s safe to cross the street and the moment they actually do it is significantly longer than for someone who is sober.

So, while it may have been safe to cross the street when they made the decision, it was not safe to cross by the time they did it. However, because perception is also altered under the influence of alcohol, the walker may have thought it was safe to cross the street when it, in fact, was not.

Alcohol also severely affects balance. So, when someone who is not sober is walking, they may zigzag between being on a sidewalk and not or safely off the side of the road and suddenly on the road.

All of these factors make walking drunk a potentially deadly action. Often, when drunk pedestrians are hit by a vehicle, the driver will say they came out of nowhere and it was impossible to stop in time to avoid hitting them.

The best solution to this is to have someone sober drive them home, even if “it’s just around the corner.” Whether that’s a designated driver, a taxi, or rideshare, it’s a much safer alternative to walking when a person has been drinking.

If you want information about cremation services offered in Greenbelt, MD, you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can drop by our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.

funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD

Long-Term Care Homes: Seniors and Suicide

Some of the funerals at funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD are those of seniors who have died. Some had the blessing of good health and vitality to the end of their lives. They were able to live out their final years in their own homes and they had a life full of doing what they enjoyed, whether it was traveling, volunteering, visiting with family and friends, and doing hobbies they enjoyed.

Others may have experienced health challenges as they grew older that made it difficult for them to live alone. Of those, some may have had family members move them into their homes or had a family member move in with them so that they had help when they needed it, but still had some autonomy.

However, as American society has become more mobile, sometimes there is no family close by who can take care of their senior relatives. Sometimes it’s the seniors who don’t want to pick up and move to where their family members are. Sometimes it’s the family who decides that long-term care is the best option for everyone involved.

Whatever the case, there are many seniors now living in long-term care facilities. In some cases, spouses may both be alive and move in together, but in many cases, a surviving spouse or a never-married relative finds themselves in one of these facilities.

If other family members don’t live close by, then they may not be able to visit more than a few times a year, leaving the seniors alone and lonely, without friends and neighbors for companionship when their families live far away.

The change can be life-altering. Moving into a strange place, not knowing anyone, but depending on everyone for day-to-day care can be very scary. Seniors may feel isolated and unwanted. They may physically, emotionally, and mentally diminish because the change is so drastic and so hard.

While some long-term care facilities provide excellent care and make sure that they offer social opportunities for their residents, others do not. So, in addition to being uprooted from everything they have known and where they are comfortable, seniors may also face, if not abuse, then passive or active neglect.

This can lead to feelings of hopelessness and it can cause severe depression. Some seniors may be so unhappy that they no longer want to live. Of these, some may actually act on their desire to die and commit suicide.

Suicides of seniors in long-term care facilities are not widely reported or discussed in America, but a Kaiser Health News report for PBS NewsHour found that some seniors are choosing to end their lives in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

Because long-term care facilities take great care to try to keep deaths by suicide quiet, simply because it’s bad for business, Kaiser Health News was able to dig deeply enough into the data from the documentation available to the public to estimate that the rate of suicide in long-term care facilities is about one senior per day (approximately 365 a year).

Not only does this show how much of an upheaval moving into a long-term care facility can create in a senior’s life, but it also highlights the pervasive problem of understaffing and lack of detail to the residents’ mental, physical, and emotional condition that would enable a senior to be able to commit suicide.

Seniors are as important as anyone else at funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD and we will take care of them in death as we would in life. You can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.