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New service offers online notification service after a death

Traditionally, newspaper obituaries, phone calls, text messages, email and social media have been the routes to notifying friends and relatives after the loss of a loved one.

Unfortunately, these can be expensive and a bit haphazard. The message may not get through quickly enough for everyone to attend the funeral – particularly within communities where that needs to take place quickly. Nowadays, family and friends can be spread around different cities, countries, parts of the world and time zones.

It is also hard to keep track of who has been notified and who has not. Social media announcements may be speedier but they can be shared with unwanted audiences and attract potentially upsetting comments.

As funeral directors know only too well, these are problems and issues that a bereaved person already in a distressed state really does not need.

A Norwegian start-up company has come up with an online service that offers something just a little bit different – a speedy notification service, as well as help with several practical tasks.

The service – called Memcare – simplifies and speeds up the process of notifying family, friends and colleagues about the death of a loved one and also automatically keeps track of who has this information and who has access to it.

Besides also giving bereaved families the opportunity to create an online memorial, it provides an online funeral planner, which lets relatives receive confirmation from the people attending the funeral and memorial.

They can list tasks they need assistance with, so friends and family can volunteer.

And Memcare also helps with removing the deceased’s social media accounts and email accounts to manage the online presence left behind.

“After an extensive research expedition around the world, we saw that the current methods of communicating and distributing death messages were old-fashioned and outdated,” says co-founder Lars Martinsen.

“We wanted to modernise the whole process and simplify the tasks created by the bereaved when a relative passes away.

“The challenge with today's solutions is that family and friends are not notified quickly enough to attend the funeral and it is hard to know who has been notified and who has not.

“Memcare solves this in a more accurate, efficient and smart way. Memcare helps relatives save money, stress and spend more time on what is important to them during the grieving process.”

The Memcare service is available through funeral homes and is rolling out globally in 2018. The company promise no set-up fees or complicated agreements.

Memcare enables the user to create a list of people who should be notified. It guides them through collecting contacts from a mobile phone (using a dedicated app), email and social media contacts and others and adding others manually.

The user is also helped to write a short message notifying about the death.

Contact are informed via text message, email and social media – the family chooses how and who.

They create an online memorial page, where visitors can comment, offer condolences and share memories with words, photos or videos.

Those notified are given access to the memorial page and, as well as information about and memories from the deceased's life, can read key information regarding the funeral.

The information with a unique link is sent to everyone on the distribution list and the system keeps track of who is informed and – maybe more importantly – who is not.

Those notified are able to give the contact information of others that may also need to be informed. This has to be approved but those people are then also told.

Memcare even makes sure no duplicate messages are sent.

Memcare Techologies’ main development office is in Warsaw, with commercial operations located in Oslo. Its mission is to become the global leader in online memorial solutions.

Martinsen says it is currently experiencing high demand from Scandinavia, Europe and the USA.

“The service is a good alternative to ineffective and expensive newspaper obituaries, and has a far wider reach,” he says. “It is revolutionising how we communicate and organise ourselves after the loss of a loved one and how we remember those who have passed away.”

Gary Moyle, Head of Digital Marketing at Funeral Zone, commented:

"Losing a loved one is an incredibly difficult time both emotionally and in practical terms. There are many different decisions that need to be made as well as companies that need to be informed following their death. 

“There are also a new set of challenges surrounding social media and digital legacy of the person that has died. There are now a range of innovative platforms emerging, that, like Funeral Zone, help the bereaved during this difficult time.

“We welcome any innovation that helps the bereaved and allows them to make more informed decisions. We are already seeing a step change in how people deal with death online as millennials grow older. As digital natives, they will increasingly memorialise loved ones online and deal with the practicalities of a death in different ways than their parents."

PHOTO: Memcare founders Lars Martinsen (left) and Hakon Aaroen (right)


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