One in three adults are classified as obese, and one in thirteen are considered extremely obese. Having an oversized body can complicate a person's life, and that doesn't end when the individual passes away. If you are responsible for planning a funeral for an obese person, here are two things you need to plan for to ensure the person is laid to rest with dignity.
You'll Need a Non-Standard Casket and Plot
The average casket measures 84-inches long by 28-inches wide by 23-inches high. As you can see, they are typically not designed to accommodate people who are overweight or obese. Thus, you will typically have to order a casket from a supplier who specializes in crafting oversized caskets. Because they require extra materials to make and are typically reinforced to support the heavier weight, these caskets tend to cost more than regular ones; as much as $9,000 versus around $2,000 for a standard one.
Because of the larger casket size, you will also need to get a bigger plot for your loved one, which will also cost more. Some cemeteries will simply dig a bigger hole to accommodate your loved one. However, others may require you to pay for two spaces. Be sure to consult with the cemetery about its policy regarding interring larger-sized folks, so you can adequately budget for the cost.
More Robust Transportation
Hearses can generally accommodate the weight of an oversized casket, but not the size. As a result, you may be required to hire alternative transportation for the casket, such as a horse and carriage or a regular moving van. While the funeral home can make the arrangements for you, you can expect to pay more for the service.
However, transporting the decedent from the memorial service to the gravesite is only part of the challenge. If you plan on having pall bearers, you need to make sure there are enough people who can life and carry the casket with your loved one inside. A regular casket can typically be carried by six individuals, but you may need twice as many people to transport an oversized one. Alternatively, the funeral home may be able to acquire lifting equipment to help with this issue if the decedent is too large for pallbearers or the funeral staff to carry.
For more tips on planning a funeral for an obese person or help making the arrangements, contact a funeral director.