Although there has been a great deal of recent attention in respect to the rising cost of funerals within the United Kingdom, those later in their lives still have a reason to be happy that they live in this country. A study published by Economic Insights found that the United Kingdom ranked in the number-one position in terms of end-of-life care out of no less than 80 countries. It is important to take a look at the implications of these findings in a bit more detail.
Reasons for a High Ranking
There were several factors which had been taken into account during this study. Some of the most prominent included:
- NHS palliative care
- Specialised staff
- Community engagement
- Charity-funded actions
The other top countries were unsurprisingly found throughout North American and Asia-Pacific regions. Australia took second place and New Zealand had to settle for third. Interestingly enough, the United States was ranked ninth below both China and India in terms of end-of-life care. Some cited concerns due to the fact that the populations of these countries were so very large.
The Key of Planning
It has been pointed out that one of the most important reasons for such a respectable ranking arises as a direct result of the number of palliative care workers which are specifically trained to deal with those who are terminally ill. Additionally, the United Kingdom and other top-ranked countries tend to have plans in place. This enables them to evaluate progress and make changes when they may be necessary.
Still Things to Improve
Still, there is always room for improvement. Some experts have highlighted that not every citizen has access to this advanced level of care. Obviously, the wealthy always tend to be better off and it is an unfortunate fact that some citizens are still “falling through the cracks”. Some of the reasons for these continuing challenges revolve around poor long-term planning, a failure of communication between different organisations and inadequate out-of-office care for those who may not be residing in a hospice. It is still absolutely true that the United Kingdom is continuing to improve on a yearly basis.
Less Financial Burdens
One of the key points to mention is the fact that this very same study found that between 80 and 100 per cent of all end-of-life services are paid for by entities other than the patients themselves. So, financial concerns are not nearly as severe as they are in other countries (the United States is a perfect example of this disturbing trend). Since families are less involved with day-to-day monetary worries, a greater standard of mental well-being can be enjoyed by patients and loved ones. This is important for a few key reasons. First, less personal financial obligations will enable families to free up money that can then be allocated to other concerns such as funeral arrangements. Secondly, this very same added liquidity ensures that loved ones will not be laden with massive bills long after a family member passes away. It is therefore quite obvious why the United Kingdom and the NHS health care system as a whole had scored so high within this ranking system.
A Stable Trend?
It should be noted that a similar study was previously carried out back in 2010. The United Kingdom once again took the number-one position at this time. Considering that there were only 40 countries involved with this previous study and that the criteria were less stringent is a clear indication that the government is doing something right. Having said this, there are many reasons to celebrate these latest figures and yet, end-of-days care is not the only concerns that families will face.
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, the cost of funerals within the United Kingdom is exorbitantly high and these figures are only expected to rise. While end-of-life care may indeed be free (or virtually free) to many citizens, the fact that funerals are now costing more than 7,500 pounds raises a serious question. How can families and loved ones afford to foot such a bill? This is even more pertinent should someone happen to die unexpectedly or leave a great many outstanding debts which need to be paid.
Prepaid Funeral Plans: How and Why?
This is where the power of the prepaid funeral plan comes into play. A prepaid funeral plan can be thought of much like an end-of-life insurance policy. Payment can be made via a fixed monthly payment, which if started early enough can be relatively cheap and unlike life insurance, a prepaid funeral plan fixes the cost of the funeral at the price that it is on the day that it starts, leaving the plan holder able to rest assured in the knowledge that he or she has financially covered the costs of their funeral and provided protection for their loved ones at their own time of death.
What is protected by a funeral prepayment plan?
A funeral plan provides guaranteed cover for funeral costs and expenses, These will include (but are not limited to):
- Funeral director fees
- Doctors/Medical examination fees
- Transportation of the body
- Funeral procession from home
- Burial costs
- Cremation costs
The fact of the matter is that many will not think of these and other expenses until it is too late. The end result is a situation where loved ones are placed under a massive amount of financial strain. Short-term high-interest loans may very well be required and at the end of the day, some individuals may even wind up experiencing a significant amount of debt in affording to pay for a family funeral, which is where planning ahead will avoid the potential for money pressures for others.
This is where the ability to review the best prepaid funeral plans is so very beneficial. Not only will the best options be able to be chosen, but a side-by-side comparison enables a level of clarity that would not otherwise be possible. A team of experts at www.silverchoices.co.uk understand that these choices can be difficult and provide a full informing and guidance service to help people to fully understand exactly what is involved. To learn more about prepayment funeral plans and get advice on how to plan ahead, contact the UK Independent experts, who offer totally free of charge, information, guidance, advice and plan recommendations to meet each client’s unique individual needs.