Monthly Archives: April 2020

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.

cremation services in Beltsville, MD

Planning for Death

Cremations are among the cremation services offered in Beltsville, MD. But before cremations comes death, and before death comes life. You may have a very detailed and full plan of the things you want to accomplish, do, and see during your lifetime. You are probably actively working right now toward something that has been on your life plan for a very long time.

If it’s a special anniversary trip or a long-awaited family reunion or a much-anticipated wedding, lots of effort, energy, and planning is going into it to make sure everything is just right. You’re carefully setting aside time and money to make this significant event happen.

Your death, however, will be the last significant event in your life. Have you spent the same kind of time and effort to prepare for it? If you haven’t, here are a few things you need to do to get ready.

First, have a will done. Wills are a legal mechanism that lets you distribute your personal property and assets to the people you want to have them after you have died. If you die without a will, then your estate will go into probate and a judge will decide how your personal property and assets are distributed. Their decisions about distribution are not likely to match your decisions about distribution.

Second, make sure you have an advance directive. Advance directives include things like a medical power of attorney, a living will, a Do Not Resuscitate order, a Do Not Intubate order, and a durable power of attorney. Except for the durable power of attorney, which lets you appoint someone to handle your legal and financial affairs if you are alive, but unable to do so yourself, the rest of the legal documents let you specify what kind of medical care you want at the end of life and who you want to make medical decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself.

One of the most important ways you can plan for death is to get your financial affairs in order. Hiring a financial planner may be the best way to ensure that your assets are taken care of and that your debts are paid off as quickly as possible.

One thing most financial planners will tell people who are planning for death is to reduce the amount of credit (and credit cards and credit accounts) they have. They will also advise couples who’ve had joint financial accounts all of their married lives to each get small separate bank accounts in their own name and at least one major credit card in their name only so that each of them can establish their own credit record.

After you’ve met with a financial advisor, create a list of all your assets. Be sure to include account numbers, online access information, and any other pertinent information that your spouse or executor will need to handle the assets. Don’t forget to include burial insurance policies and all life insurance policies that you have.

Create a document that spells out your funeral wishes. Be as detailed and as specific as possible so that your spouse and family know exactly what you want and don’t want.

Finally, give a copy of your advance directive documents to the person (or people) you’ve chosen to be your medical power of attorney and your durable power of attorney. Be sure that your spouse or your executor (if they’re not the same) have a copy of your will and a copy of your list of assets.

If you want more information about planning for death before cremation services in Beltsville, 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 Beltsville, MD

Women and Heart Attack Symptoms

Some of the funerals at funeral homes in Beltsville, MD are for women – grandmothers, mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, and aunts – who died of heart disease. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in women in the United States and across the world.

Heart attacks, most of them fatal, are the end result of heart disease. Yet, while heart disease and heart attacks in men are commonly diagnosed, doctors often miss the signs of heart disease and heart attacks in women.

While some heart attacks are so severe that they lead to death, many less severe heart attacks and the heart disease that caused them can be prevented and treated if doctors know what to look for.

Women are more likely to suffer from silent heart attacks than men are. Their symptoms of having a heart attack are often very different from those that men have. These are two of the many factors that are involved in why medical professionals often miss the signs of heart disease and heart attacks in women.

The general consensus, within the medical profession and without, is that heart attacks have obvious symptoms. These include shortness of breath, pain in the left side of the chest, and cold, clammy sweats.

However, silent heart attacks usually have no symptoms, or the symptoms don’t match those normally associated with heart attacks. However, silent heart attacks indicate the same heart problem – lack of blood flow to a portion of the heart that can scar and damage the heart – that other heart attacks do.

Many people who’ve had silent heart attacks may complain of flu-like symptoms or serious indigestion. They may feel a slight pain in their chest or back that mimics a pulled muscle. They may also feel overly tired for long periods of time.

Women, it turns out, are more likely to suffer silent heart attacks than men are. Both women and medical professionals, however, often attribute the symptoms of silent heart attacks to stress and anxiety and dismiss them as situational or temporary, without doing the testing to determine if there is a blockage to the heart.

Women’s lack of knowledge that their heart attack symptoms are often different from those of men is also a contributor to their increased risk of a fatal cardiac event. A study by the European Society of Cardiology that was released in December 2018 found that women who are having a heart attack wait about 37 minutes longer than men who are having heart attacks to call emergency services.

While men usually experience crushing chest pain when they are having heart attacks, women seldom do. They may experience things like jaw pain, nausea, vomiting, neck pain, throat pain, and shoulder pain.

Women reason that if they call emergency services for these fairly common symptoms of many illnesses that they will end up looking silly or foolish because they’re overreacting to their symptoms. Meanwhile, they can suffer irreparable damage to their hearts, in the best case scenario, or they can die, in the worst case scenario.

Heart attack fatalities in women may be reduced if both medical professionals and women recognize the more subtle symptoms of heart attacks and go ahead with a full cardiac workup to find out what is going on with the heart.

If you’d like to arrange a funeral at funeral homes in Beltsville, MD, 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.