Monthly Archives: January 2021

cremation services in Newtown, PA

Aquamation Vs. Cremation Services

You know there are a few different kinds of cremation services in Newtown, PA, but did you know there’s a new kind called aquamation?

What Is Human Aquamation?

Water cremation, sometimes referred to as aquamation, is a process that breaks down a body after death. It involves water, heat, and chemicals, unlike standard cremation that just uses heat. The aquamation process is quite simple. During the process, the body is placed in a steel chamber. The chamber is then filled with an alkaline solution made up of 95% water and 5% potassium hydroxide and raised to a very high pressure to prevent boiling.

The chamber, and the body in the solution, are then heated to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time, from 4 to 16 hours. The heat, pressure, and solution work together to break down the body, leaving only the bones. The body slowly dissolves, and the bones, once removed from the chamber, are crushed into ash and returned to the family just like in a traditional cremation. As the water leftover from an aquamation no longer contains any alkalis, it can be returned to the natural ecosystem just like water from a sink or a toilet – through the standard wastewater treatment facility.

Aquamation does not use acid to dissolve the body. There is no acid used in an aquamation. In fact, the process of alkaline hydrolysis uses a material called an alkali, which is actually the exact opposite of an acid. The combination of chemicals and water work together to naturally dissolve the body without the use of acid.

Aquamation is definitely safe for the environment. This is because the solution used in aquamation, a mixture of 95% water and 5% alkali, is completely natural and safe. And, even if it wasn’t, by the end of the aquamation process the alkalis are completely used up. So, all that remains at the end of an aquamation is water, bones, and dust.

Can the Family Still Have A Viewing?

Many families choose to have a full-service visitation for family and friends before the Aquamation process. The people of today are continuing to rediscover the benefits and importance of visitation. For some, it is an opportunity for friends and family members from all over the world to pay their respects before they settle in for this Aquamation process.

What Happens to the Remains After Aquamation?

Just like cremated remains, aquamation remains are 100% safe as they are simply a mixture of bone materials, minerals, and calcium phosphate. They are also disease and pathogen-free, which makes them, in many ways, safer to handle and be around than a dead body. Since aquamation ashes are very similar to remains left after a standard cremation they can be treated like standard cremation ashes. However, aquamation remains are much lighter in color and texture than classic cremated remains. Cremated remains made from flames are often darker and denser from the various combustion reactions that occur when the body is heated under extreme temperatures. They can be kept in an urn, buried in the ground, or scattered in a special place.

Aquamation is still fairly new and is not readily available everywhere. Standard cremations are still excellent choices for final body disposition.

Is Aquamation Cheaper Than Cremation?

Aquamation is more expensive than cremation. Aquamation systems are a relatively new technology that makes the process of disposing of human remains more sanitary and environmentally friendly. Funeral homes have embraced this innovation, as it saves them time on their already busy schedules by eliminating embalming procedures. While many people prefer cremation, the process is not without costs. Aquamation systems cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to set up and maintain which makes funeral homes a costly business.

The cost of cremation may vary depending on the type you prefer. An average funeral service will be in the ballpark of $1,600-$2,000 while an aquamation can range anywhere from $2000-3200. Burial is the most expensive option, and with embalming comes a hefty price tag. Families also need to consider caskets priced from $1,000-$8,500 or more that are required for an open-casket visitation. Even though memorials have become commonplace in recent years due to rising cremation rates–the cheapest choice at around $650 after local taxes per person — it still doesn’t compare when looking at options like burial plots which can cost up to $25K+.

Once you consider the factors, aquamation is not as expensive as it seems.

Are the Cremains Different Than Those from Ordinary Cremation?

The ashes from a flame cremation are primarily the mineral remains from the bone, along with some ash from the cremate or casket. Aquamation is completely different because there is no other material in it than just bones and minerals that remain behind after burning them down to their natural form of calcium phosphate and silicon dioxide.

The color of cremation ash can be a range from bright white to black depending on the process. A flame-based process creates grayish ashes as it turns organic matter into carbon, which is then burned away until nothing but charcoal remains. The color of ash from Aquamation varies greatly, ranging anywhere from white to tan. Some people have a slight variation in color as well due to individual differences.

The cremation process leaves behind ash that is different from ashes created by Aquamation. The consistency of flame-cremated remains can be described as “chippy” or jagged, bone fragments. With the Aquamation technique, there are more homogenous (consistent) powder chunks returned to family members for a total 20-30% increase in amount compared with fire cremations where only 60% survives and 40% becomes part of incinerator residue.

What Happens to The Water After Aquamation?

The process of Aquamation creates a sterile water solution with amino acids, sugars, nutrients, salts, and soap that are the byproducts of natural decomposition. This is done through an environmentally friendly system that eliminates toxins typically found in traditional formaldehyde-based methods of preservation.

How Long Does Aquamation Take?

The cremation process takes a couple of hours. The aquamation process can last from six to eight hours or up to 18-20, depending on the heat involved in the burning and cooling stages. The body is placed in a large container filled with water and potassium hydroxide mixture. The body is then slowly broken down by the chemical reaction, leaving behind bone and teeth fragments that are easily rinsed away.

What happens to the metal implants?

Medical implants are not destroyed in this process. The metals look brand new after the process and they’re sterilized, too! The metals are recycled through the refiner and made into new materials such as aluminum, steel, copper, or brass. The process of recycling takes less energy and saves a lot more natural resources, while also reducing pollution in landfills that come with combustion-based cremations like this one.

Why do families choose aquamation?

• No expensive caskets or burial plots are necessary
• Allows for customization in a way that suits every person
• It promotes sustainability and eco-friendly practices
• It saves space
• Unique and stylish alternative to traditional burial
• Some are more comfortable with Aquamation than cremation

cremation services in Newtown, PA

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you have more questions about aquamation or cremation services in Newtown, PA. Call or visit us today to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Is Left After Aquamation?

After aquamation, all that remains of the body are bones and teeth, which can be pulverized into a fine powder. This powder can then be scattered or buried, just as with cremated remains. Sometimes, the ashes may be used to create memorial diamonds.

 What States Allow Aquamation?

Aquamation is currently legal in some states in the United States, including California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. While the legality of aquamation is still evolving in many jurisdictions, the process will likely become more widely available.

Why Is Aquamation More Eco-Friendly?

Aquamation is a process of cremating human remains using alkaline water instead of fire. It is considered more eco-friendly than traditional cremation because it uses less energy, emits fewer greenhouse gases, and does not require the use of toxic chemicals.

funeral homes in Newtown, PA

Isolated Funeral Homes Services

Large gatherings have been banned all around the world have as large gatherings could spread the COVID-19. However, just because we’re isolated from one another doesn’t mean death and funeral homes in Newtown, PA have stopped.

Is it possible to have cremation or funeral services that honor our lost loved ones when we’re in isolation?

Yes! These are just a few ideas of how you can honor a lost loved one in this time of isolation:

  • Outdoor Gatherings – While most indoor gatherings are limited in size or even prohibited, outdoor gatherings are still mostly allowed. This makes it easy and ideal to host a scattering ceremony to scatter your lost loved one’s cremated remains. Invite an appropriate amount of people according to your local guidelines and host the event in an outdoor space large enough for social distancing.
  • Charity – If the deceased was committed to a certain cause, why not make donations in their name? You can share the chosen charity on social medias and ask others to participate in the donations to honor your lost loved one.
  • Crafts – Ask family, friends, coworkers, and others that knew the deceased to send you photos, stories and handwritten notes. Put them all together into a memory that you can keep for yourself or share on social media. Small keepsakes are often a great source of comfort in times of loss. You can send cards, photographs, jewelry, plants or other keepsakes to those in grief to honor the deceased and give them comfort.
  • Cooking – Try cooking the deceased’s favorite meal. Share one of the deceased’s favorite recipes and ask those interested to cook the meal on a certain date and time. Participants can share photos and talk about their various experiences surrounding the cooking and the meal.
  • Virtual Services – As technology has made a lot of things easier included staying connected, you can have a virtual ceremony. Thanks to streaming, recording and social media technologies, it’s never been easier to have a virtual funeral or memorial service. Many cremation and funeral providers can assist families with planning and executing a virtual service.
  • Virtual Vigils – Vigils have long been a way to honor the deceased, so why not have a virtual one? Invite those that knew and loved the deceased to log onto a Zoom meeting, post photos or videos in a social media group, or even just light a candle and listen to a playlist at a given time.
  • Postponement – Finally, cremation allows a lot of flexibility in when a service can be held as the body is not on an embalmment clock. Unless your religion or faith dictate, there are no rules about when a memorial service needs to be held. If you chose, you can cremate your loved one and hold a memorial later on when this crisis has smoothed out.

funeral homes in Newtown, PA

There are still many ways we can honor our lost loved ones even though we’re apart. Call today to learn more. J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you want more tips on Newtown, PA funeral home services. Call today.

cremation services in Langhorne, PA

Budget-Friendly Cremation Service Ideas

While all of the more expensive memorialization and cremation services in Langhorne, PA are lovely, there are plenty of less expensive options that are just as comforting and respectful.

Use these ideas for budget-friendly cremation services:

  • Jewelry – If your loved one was cremated you can easily carry them with you at all times with jewelry. For example, you can put their ashes in a locket with a photo.
  • Charitable Giving – If your lost loved one was dedicated to a certain cause, why not make a donation in their honor? It doesn’t have to be a large donation for it to be meaningful and to do some good. You can also ask funeral or me memorial guests to make donations instead of bringing flowers.
  • Photographs – It’s likely that you already have lots of pictures of the deceased. Turn those pictures into a memorial by making a scrapbook, gallery wall or another display dedicated to your lost loved one.
  • Memories – Memories of the deceased are free and plentiful. Put out a jar or dish at a memorial service and have guests write down their memories of the deceased to place in the jar. Then, read them one by one on special occasions or whenever you need some comfort in your grief. You can even make this idea digital and have people send memory emails to a special email address.
  • Listen to Music – Music can be very powerful. Listen to the deceased’s favorite song or artist or find a kind of music that is soothing to you in your time of loss. You can create a mix or a tape of the comforting music to play when you’re sad or to give to others who are feeling the same loss.
  • Plant a Garden – Plant a memorial garden in the deceased’s honor. Seeds and flowers are very cost-effective, plus gardening is a constructive way to release grief. You can always add a memorial bench or stone.
  • Write a Memorial – While you may not feel like a poet or an author, sometimes the act of putting your feelings into words can be very comforting and honoring to the deceased. You can write short stories of their life, create a poem to honor their memory, or just write down how much they meant to you.
  • Repurpose Belongings – Instead of donating or storing your lost loved one’s belongings, see if you can repurpose some of them into remembrance items. Sew a shirt or dress into a pillowcase you can keep on your bed or on the couch or patch up their jeans to give to younger generations.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to honor your lost loved one as long as you act from the heart.

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you’re looking for more tips or information on Langhorne, PA cremation services? We have years of funeral and cremation experience we would love to put at your disposal, so give us a call or pay us a visit today.

funeral homes in Langhorne, PA

The Different Kinds of Wills

Do you know which kind of will is best for you and your needs? After all, there are different kinds of wills just like there are different kinds of funeral homes in Langhorne, PA. These are a few of the most common:

  • Lawyer Drafted Wills – The best kind of will is one that’s made with the help of a lawyer. Hiring a lawyer to handle your will is best because it means the document will not only be official, but it will also be customized to fit your specific needs. Making a will with a lawyer is also best if you have a complex estate, like if you have assets in multiple countries, a child with a disability, or are separated but not divorced. It’s important to note that hiring a lawyer to draft your will can get pricey – with many lawyers charging over $800 for a basic will service. However, in the long run, the money might be worth it to know that your affairs will be properly handled after you’re gone.
  • Online Platform Wills – There are several online platforms that help you create your own official will. These platforms, like Willful, allow you to tailor your will to your exact needs while still maintaining status as official and legally recognized. These platforms are a good idea if you have a simple estate and won’t need any legal advice, or if you want to get started early on your will and come back to edit it later on in life. These platforms do charge for their service, but most include free will updates in the initial cost.
  • Holographic Will – A holographic will is simply a handwritten will that you sign and date. These wills are not witnessed. While this may seem like a simple and cost-effective option, a holographic will can present a few issues. For example, these kinds of wills aren’t officially recognized in many states. Plus, as many people don’t have legal backgrounds, these wills might be missing important will components and legal language. However, holographic wills are better than no will at all.
  • Will Kits – Similar to online platforms, will kits are fill-in-the-blank documents that allow you to fill in information about your estate to create a simple will. These documents are one-size fits all and don’t offer much space to customize or personalize your will, so they probably aren’t a good solution if you have a complex estate or specific needs. Also, you will have to purchase a new will kit every time you need to make changes because you get married, have children, get a divorce, or any other big life event.

Unfortunately, many people pass away without leaving a will. If this happens, the government will use its estate laws to handle your estate and will appoint its own executor to take care of the details. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, most people prefer to have control over their own affairs rather than leave things to the state. So, no matter which kind of will you want, be sure to choose one.

funeral homes in Langhorne, PA

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel can help if you want more information on wills or Langhorne, PA funeral homes. Call today.