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Beecher Funeral Home Adapts to Change

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Funeral homes are bracing for an increase in the amount of "death calls" they expect to receive due to the aging of the baby boomer generation, said Terri Flynn, executive director of the Westchester County Funeral Homes Association.

Bill Flooks, president and CEO of Beecher Funeral Homes in Pleasantville, said that despite these claims, his funeral home has not yet seen the effects.

"I think with improved health care and things like that the baby boomer generation is staying alive longer than what was originally anticipated when they projected those numbers,"

Yet there have been some changes in Beecher over the years. Flooks and his family have been involved in the funeral business since 1928 and he said that recently people have been cutting down on their services.

"People have definitely, because of economic reasons, scaled down their services from three to two to now one day really, to even just a couple hours in the morning. Those things have changed over the course of the years certainly," Flooks said.

According to Flynn, some families have skipped services all together.

"Also, more and more, we're seeing families lean towards direct cremation," said Flynn, "which is a cost-effective alternative with no wake period."

At Beecher, Flooks said most of these changes are due to economic reasons and families trying to save as much money as possible. But some of the changes are due to societal and cultural changes as well.

"We've had green and earth-friendly burials, people are now trending more towards cremation in order to save the ground and it's also more economically friendly for them," Flooks said.

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