“Can I be cremated if I’ve had hip or knee replacement?” is a reasonable question and the answer is yes! Increasing people are choosing cremation as their choice of disposition. According to the Board of Funeral Services Ontario Quick Facts 2103, of the 93,102 registered deaths in 2013, 56,294 or 60.46% of the disposition was cremation. These figures are provided by the Office of the Registrar General and data from 2014 is not available.
The process of cremation takes 3 – 4 hours and reduces the body to bone fragments. The materials used in a joint replacement will be part of the cremated remains. When the cremated remains are cool, the crematorium technician will pass a magnet over the cremated remains and remove the metal debris. The technician will also visually inspect the cremated remains and remove the hardware associated with the joint replacement.
After cremation is complete, the bone residue of the skull, head of the femur and humerus, and the teeth may be processed into a finer granular form and combined with the remainder of the cremated remains.
The cremated remains are returned to the funeral home in a plastic temporary container that is about the size of a large tissue box ( 9 cm x15cm x 23cm) and weighs around 4- 5 kg. I have seen cases where the deceased likely had very dense bones as the cremated remains were returned in 2 boxes. It is important to know the size of the cremated remains if you wish to place the cremated remains into an urn and then into a niche which is usually about a cubic 30cm.
Two items that must be removed prior to cremation are a pacemaker or radioactive implants. This is done by a Class 1 Funeral Director. If this is your scenario please be sure to inform the Funeral Director.
If cremation is the choice of disposition it is still possible to have visiting, a service and a reception.
As cremation becomes an increasingly popular choice of disposition, one thing I encourage people to think through and talk about is; What would you like your personal representative or Estate Trustee to do with your cremated remains? Final disposition of cremated remains can vary. They may be buried or scattered:
- On your personal property
- On Crown land
- At a cemetery.
Cremated remains can also be kept in one’s personal possession or a combination of the above choices.
Do you have questions about cremation or about pre-funeral planning in general? I welcome your feedback and questions. You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter too!
Until next time
Katherine Downey is the #1 Funeral Preplanning Professional in Canada for the fourth time. She is a professional educator, author, radio host, licensed funeral director and insurance advisor. To set an appointment or have your questions answered, please contact Kat directly.