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How Iowa Funeral Homes Are Adjusting to COVID-19 Concerns

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URBANDALE, Iowa — Funeral homes across Iowa have been implementing changes to visitations and burials to comply with social distancing regulations.

Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home and Crematory says they have been working with families to offer a variety of options that include live streaming or private family services. Although it’s not usually recommended, families can also choose to postpone a memorial service.

“We’re also offering families, if they’re having to cut off private family time, maybe just a couple of them come in and see their loved one for that closure. Then we go to the cemetery and just do the interment work if they want to have that. We will offer a memorial service down the road for them, no additional charge so they can still have that family, or that public visitation service,” said Mark Parrish Funeral Director and owner of Caldwell Parrish.

Parrish says that although the conversation is never easy, families are now knowing what to expect when planning a funeral.

“It’s still not an easy conversation. People are wondering just what are the chances of my loved one passing away during this, so it’s an emotional time, but it’s gotten easier for families because they kind of know what to expect now,” said Parrish.

Parrish urges families to contact their funeral home director before making a decision regarding the loss of a loved one. 

“I would tell families that if you do lose somebody, don’t make an extra emotional decision during what is already an emotional time. Before you make any decisions on the type of service or your arrangement conference or what you’re going to do, make sure you visit with the funeral director that’s going to be working with your family, figure out all your options, talk with them, talk about their family, and then make an educated decision on that so that would be the first thing,” said Parrish.

Many funeral homes are also offering virtual consultations for families who want to limit travel due to COVID-19. Caldwell Parrish says they are taking extra precautions and separating staff members across their different locations to protect their staff and their clients from the spread of the virus.


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