A survey has revealed that people generally become more comfortable discussing death as they get older. The same research also revealed a disparity between the number of people who say they feel comfortable discussing death and those who have begun talking about their own funeral wishes with their loved ones.
The poll, which was commissioned by pre-paid funeral plan provider Ecclesiastical Planning Services, asked 1,000 people aged 50 and above how comfortable they feel when talking about passing away and death. Respondents were offered the choice of ‘very comfortable’, ‘somewhat comfortable’, ‘not very comfortable’, ‘not comfortable at all’ and ‘I don’t know/prefer not to say’.
The research showed that those who are likely to be further away from death are far less comfortable discussing it than those who are older. Of the 447 respondents aged 50 to 59, just 26% revealed that they feel very comfortable discussing death. A further 39% said that they are somewhat comfortable with discussing the subject, while 29% revealed they would be ‘not very comfortable’ or ‘not comfortable at all’ with talking about their own mortality.
Conversely, of the 163 people aged 70 to 79 who took part in the survey, 77% answered that they are either ‘very’ or ‘somewhat comfortable’ discussing death. Just 19% of people in this age bracket responded that they are not comfortable discussing death and the idea of passing away, showing that the older generation is actually more comfortable with confronting the subject.
In total, just 7% of the entire sample said they were ‘not comfortable at all’ speaking about death. When asked whether they had spoken to someone close to them about their own funeral wishes, 27% revealed they had never done so. This indicates a vast difference in comfort when discussing death generally and speaking about their own funeral wishes and putting practical plans in place.
Steven Barrett from R.W. Barrett & Son, a local funeral director based in Newcastle upon Tyne said:“We always encourage people to discuss their funeral wishes with someone close to them, so that when the time comes, someone has an indication of what the deceased would have wanted. Taking out a pre-paid funeral plan is the ideal way to make your funeral wishes known and reduce the worry for loved ones…”