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Indigent Burial

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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
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    Posted: Apr 20 2015 at 3:24pm

Posted: 8:00 a.m. Monday, April 20, 2015

Indigent burials up in county’s two largest cities

Health officials blame heroin, economy.

By Lauren Pack

Staff Writer

BUTLER COUNTY 

    Taxpayers paid nearly $29,000 to bury 58 indigent people in Middletown and Hamilton last year, a combined increase of $5,000 and 10 burials over the previous year, according to health officials in both cities.

    Health commissioners Kay L. Farrar, of Hamilton, and Jackie Phillips, of Middletown, both say the heroin epidemic and the economy have had an impact on indigent burials.

    “There was a time when people had life insurance, and they got it through their job. When the economy went down and people lost their jobs, that changed,” Phillips said. “We are also seeing the age that people die getting lower and lower. The ages of 18 to 40 are what we are seeing for overdose deaths. That is leaving minor children who are not prepared or able to bury the parent.”

    Thirty-eight people received an indigent burial at a cost of $18,253 last year in Middletown, up from 36 and $17,735 in 2013. Phillips said 19 of the burials in 2014 were from people who died from drugs; that number was 10 in 2013. So far this year, there have been 12 indigent burials, three of them drug related.

    In Hamilton last year, there were 20 indigent cremations at a cost of $10,514, nearly double the 12 cremations and $5,603 in 2013. So far this year, there have been 5 indigent cremations in the city.

    Hamilton saw its largest number of indigent cremations in the past five years in 2011 when there were 40 at a total cost of $19,000. Farrar said she could not give a reason for the high number of indigent deaths in 2011.

    “Deaths are unpredictable,” she said.

    Phillips said in the past five years, indigent remains have been cremated rather than traditional burial to keep costs down. The exception is if the deceased is unidentified or a victim of homicide.

    “I would say the costs are about the same now as the early 2000s, even though there were many less indigent deaths, because the cost of burial is much higher,” Phillips said.

    If families are unable to pay for a burial of a loved one, they fill out an application and the im

mediate family is vetted to determine if there is true indigence.

    “Not everyone is approved,” Farrar said, noting she as had family members with financial means apply because for whatever reason they did not want to pay for a burial. “It is reserved for the people who really can’t afford it.”

    Fairfield has had far fewer indigent cremations in the past five years with a total of seven at a cost of $3,500.

   The numbers are also smaller for some of Butler County’s townships. From 2010 to 2015, Liberty Twp. has had two cremations for a total cost of $1,000; West Chester Twp. has had nine cremations for a total cost of $5,550; and Fairfield Twp. had five indigent burials for a total cost of $1,500 from 2009 to 2014.

 

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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 21 2015 at 6:09am
Family pays not the taxpayer. If unable to come up with the lump sum to bury, garnish the wages until paid. If not working and on welfare, take a payment from the welfare check until paid. Not the taxpayer's problem. Family is responsible.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote middiemom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 23 2015 at 9:36pm
Vet, for once I agree with you 100%. Let's not stop there. When they abuse the emergency department they should have some of their Obama money garnished out of their checks. $10 or $15 per visit deducted from their checks would stop this abuse. Making someone responsible for these people's actions would have a profound effect on their behaviors. Who pays for all of the Narcan administered? Who foots the bill for the EMS runs? Who foots the bill for their hospital stay? I think everyone on this site knows the answer to these questions. I understand the feelings of the families but when does it stop being my problem? When does it stop being your problem? Why should my children inherit the problems of someone else's poor decisions? 
Middletown... Bright past BRIGHTER FUTURE!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stanky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 24 2015 at 9:35am
I'm wondering what the statistics are on the success rate of treatment for hard core heroin addiction. I'm guessing the percentage that end up either dead or in jail is much higher than those who are sober.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 24 2015 at 10:43am
Originally posted by middiemom middiemom wrote:

Vet, for once I agree with you 100%. Let's not stop there. When they abuse the emergency department they should have some of their Obama money garnished out of their checks. $10 or $15 per visit deducted from their checks would stop this abuse. Making someone responsible for these people's actions would have a profound effect on their behaviors. Who pays for all of the Narcan administered? Who foots the bill for the EMS runs? Who foots the bill for their hospital stay? I think everyone on this site knows the answer to these questions. I understand the feelings of the families but when does it stop being my problem? When does it stop being your problem? Why should my children inherit the problems of someone else's poor decisions? 


Glad we are in agreement on something middiemom. The user who has OD'd on heroin pays for the administration of the Narcan, the hospital stay and ambulance ride (or if employed, their insurance company pays). If collecting unemployment or welfare, the user should have the unemployment/welfare check garnished letting companies who pay into the unemployment fund to fight to recover the garnishment. If not insured and no job and are unable to pay, the family (parents) should be held responsible and pay. Not the taxpayer's responsibility to pay for the end result of the overdose.

No sympathy for users who are intentionally unproductive and do not pay into the system and still use the services provided by working people. No fair share participation, fend for yourself.    
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote middiemom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 25 2015 at 10:26am
Vet,  

 I work in the health care field and deal with these degenerates on a daily basis. I have heard that the counselors at the rehab centers tell these people that there is a 95% recidivism rate. In other words, once you start you cannot stop. I am tired of paying for other people's poor life choices.  The city of Middletown (the taxpayers for all of you bleeding heart liberals) paid over $1million dollars in costs due to heroin last year. So the next time you hit a pothole think about that. Hey, instead of burying these low lives, why don't we grind them up and fill in the pot holes? Problem solved.Thumbs Up
Middletown... Bright past BRIGHTER FUTURE!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TonyB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2015 at 9:57am
I now know why Middletown has such a terrible problem. It's the attitude that "anything that doesn't benefit me shouldn't happen" that is portrayed in this post. Don't dare to ever call yourself a Christian after this display of disgusting self-interest. Your lack of compassion and disgusting view of the poor and those in need show to all that you are neither Christian or civilized. Never in all the time I have lived in Middletown or read the topics on this board have I ever been more ashamed to admit that I lived here. This town will never recover with people like you living here and I pray to God that your eyes will be opened to just how disgusting the attitude portrayed here actually is. I hold out very little hope of that happening because it's obvious you'll never see anything but your own self interest. Done with this town. Good luck; you'll need it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote middiemom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2015 at 8:08pm
Tony B, take your blinders off and look around you. Your policies ARE NOT WORKING! We don't need to double down on your failed policies. We need to do the opposite of what got us into this hole. I didn't make anyone put a needle in their arm nor did I not make anyone pay attention in school. I most certainly have never encouraged anyone to not seek out higher education or a skilled trade. I sir do the opposite. I go out and achieve. I pay for these people to live. I should have a say. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2015 at 8:12pm
Tony, I'm sorry you feel that way. As for me, just tired of the freeloaders that have fostered this type of attitude in "we the people" that disgusts you so. You must be the type of person who supports any and all types of social programs that are intended to assist the "less fortunate". Some of these "less fortunates" may be legit. I would guess half are not and are only looking for a handout, not a "handup" with the intention of leaving the taxpayer giveaways at some point in the reasonable future. Don't let your honest emotion for those who appear down and out make a fool of you. Most of these so-called down and out people are laughing at do-gooders and the "easy system to beat" as they abuse it time and time again.

Tony, how do you feel about the people you are defending who are career social program users and abusers? They, and their kids, spend a lifetime living on the back of the working people while they stay at home, watching their big screen TV's, getting their free housing and selling their foodstamps for drugs. These non-productive people are fairly worthless to society aren't they? Aren't the habitual heroin users in the same boat as those described above? If most of us can endure life's problems without using the social programs and using drugs, why can't these people do the same? They have chosen to use heroin because they have a weak personality and can't handle life's issues. Then, after the poor lifestyle choice (OD), they burden the medics, the healthcare system, and the taxpayer who foots the bill with a Narcan bailout. Do they have a right to do that? Ask yourself. Are they worth keeping around or should we let them go after the second or third call for Narcan? Do they really want to live if they stay so close to the edge of dying?

The bleeding heart, "people matter" programs in place only make people reliant on social programs and don't work as most who ask for help only repeat the deed, only to repeat usage of the programs. Don't we make it a little too easy for them to keep making wrong choices in life and then getting bailed out time and time again, never really reaching a permanent solution that will last with the current system in place?

We are all being played by some of these people. We care enough to save them many times when in actuality, they have a date with death in their minds. Why else would they constantly be putting their lives in the path of the Grim Reaper?
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TonyB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2015 at 10:46pm
Middiemom: First of all, they're not "my policies". Second; your "say" isn't about changing, improving or even "paying for" those policies. If you did a little research, you'd find those "programs" you are so critical of take pennies from the tax coffers while the tax breaks and subsidies for corporate "welfare" take thousands of dollars out of tax payers pockets. Yet, I don't hear them called "degenerates", "undesirables" or "those people" by you. Your Ayn Rand philosophy of "me, me, me" lacks any human feeling of compassion or caring which is the true basis of civilization. Please let me know where you work in the health care profession so I can make sure I never go there for care because it is obvious to me that you don't "care" at all!

Vet: There is abuse in virtually any system. Spending a "lifetime" abusing the system is rare; what isn't rare is poverty. The idea that these people are somehow "weak" after they have been beaten down by a system that threw them overboard because it was profitable for business to lower wages and standard of living is callous. Most of them would be happy for a job that paid a living wage and provided the opportunities that "America" was supposed to stand for. Most of "us" don't endure life's problems without using drugs; they just happen to be "legal" drugs from Big Pharma that are also heavily subsidized by the taxpayer. When the patients can no longer obtain those "legal" drugs (painkillers in particular), why would it be a surprise that they would turn to a cheaper alternative? If we punished everyone who makes poor lifestyle choices or were "weak", we'd have an America with a large prison population (which we have now). Has that stopped the problem? No. Heroin is not a "lifestyle choice". It is an addiction and if you ask the addict, he'd most likely tell you he'd do anything not to be one. Why is "bailing out" someone on the edge of dying somehow wrong to you?

Sir: people do matter. They matter more than money; they matter more than an "All American" city designation or a pretty facade on a building. Are there better ways of accomplishing this? Undoubtably. Yet to condemn the use of money that benefits the less fortunate while we heap tax money on the wealthy makes no sense at all. Everyone has a date with the "Grim Reaper"; no one gets out of that. If caring about those less fortunate than myself makes me a "bleeding heart" then I shed my blood proudly; just as someone else did when he died upon the cross for the sins of the world. Or don't you believe in that kind of thing?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 27 2015 at 6:10am
TonyB- Thanks for the response. I guess we will agree to disagree on our prospective concerning helping those that need help (your stance) and those who used the heroin for the first time (lifestyle choice) and are now addicted and those who take advantage of those who overly care (liberal thinkers) (my stance).

We could debate this but we are too far apart to meet in the middle.

One more thing pertaining to the use of drugs for pain.......

I have the typical "old people" physical aches and pains. Arthritis, pain from an old sports injury from a torn Achilles tendon.....I take Tylenol and never have thought about a shot of heroin/serious pain killers to escape the pain. I have some mental pain too trying to work a full time job, doing the daily things to keep a household running and taking care of my wife when I get home. I wouldn't wish my life on my worst enemy but not one time have I thought about taking some drugs to escape the reality of how tough it can be at times. I live with it without the crutch that is heroin. I choose not to run from my responsibilities to the people who depend on me by using the druggie escape route. People who have chosen to use heroin could have chosen the same path and not been so weak. I don't wish to help these people.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote middiemom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 27 2015 at 9:50am
Tony B these might as well be your policies because that is the way you think. Take a look around you sir look what your beliefs have created. Let me guess if we just spent more money on your favorite social programs we would see a change right? Sooooo typical of leftist thinking. I don't believe in corporate welfare and feel everyone should be taxed at the same rate.But at least those policies attract paying jobs. I can stomach that. It should make a person like you happy. You need all the taxpayer money you can get for your failing policies.  Why should you be in a higher tax bracket because you produce? Why do you get a free ride for not achieving? From what I've read on this forum Vet's life is far more stressful than some loser who is depressed and hooked on pain pills. The only way to stop the heroin epidemic is to ban narcan, or if family is present, get your wallets out and pony up. WE are tired of paying for it. I don't make anyone else pay for my wine I consume. 

Oh and Tony, to compare yourself to Jesus....Wacko
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TonyB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 27 2015 at 10:36am
No real comparison to Jesus with the exception that we should all strive to be like him. Isn't that the real point of Christianity: not to say "I believe" and then go on sinning. Show me where Jesus praised the rich; called the poor and downtrodden "degenerates"? DIDN'T HAPPEN! How do you know "the way I think"? My beliefs didn't turn the wealthiest nation in the world into a third world cestpool. My "favorite social programs" happen to be Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Taking care of the old, sick and poor should be everyone's concern in this country but you'd rather grind them up and use them as road fill! You most definitely need to study economics because money at the top doesn't create jobs; demand creates jobs and poor people who struggle to pay for the essentials of life don't have the money to do that. People at the top pay more takes because they derive more benefits from a capitalist economic system. Taxpayer money is needed for more important things than propping up profitable corporations. How did we achieve such great things in the 1950's with a top tax rate of 91%? Because government had the revenue to create the Interstate Highway System and NASA and many other programs that advanced this country. By all means, let's get people off of welfare by giving them jobs that pay enough to live and not keep them in servitude to the wealthy! Which party is cutting education and turning our schools into something where "achieving" is passing a test instead of teaching critical thinking and promoting a love of learning? Why is ignorance being promoted and intelligence villified? Banning Narcan won't stop the heroin epidemic; heroin has been around a lot longer than Narcan ever has. Why would you want to punish an already impoverished family who has just tragically lost a loved one by making them more impoverished? Shouldn't solving the problem be more important than punishing someone? YOU are tired of paying for it which just points out your Ayn Rand "me, me, me" philosophy. I sincerely hope that you never have the misfortune of suffering hardship or economic setback because you are sorely ill-equipped to handle such an occurence. Go drink your wine but do it at home; lest you wind up in an accident that injures or kills you or someone else.

Vet: I also have those typical "pains" and some not so typical. I've taken the prescription and over the counter remedies to combat them. It is an addiction the same as heroin. Just because it isn't as immediately deadly doesn't mean it doesn't cause lasting harm to you. That's why I no longer take any kind of "pain medication"; it doesn't fix the problem. It only hides the problem for a short period of time while the toxic effects build up in your body. Just because you've never considered taking something doesn't mean others haven't: You should know from experience that not everyone thinks or feels the same as you. I'm truly sorry you don't wish to help "those people". Pray there never comes a day when you need the help and run into a similar attitude.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 27 2015 at 12:01pm
Aha!!!! Tony B, SOOO glad you mentioned this......

You state:

"I'm truly sorry you don't wish to help "those people". Pray there never comes a day when you need the help and run into a similar attitude."

But there has "come a day" when we needed the help and run into a similar attitude.........the "attitude" coming from the state run social programs offered that do not offer the help.

Wife has been paralyzed now for 6 years due to a stroke. Son and I are her only caregivers as there is no family and no social program to help us with her care. Only help we get is medical through my employer's insurance company and her Medicare but does not include homecare nor handicapped amenities. Couldn't get a social program to pay for wheelchair ramps...made 'em myself. Couldn't qualify for Medicaid which would have provided some homecare and some much needed relief for my son and I. Make too much and have too many assets to qualify. Only thing found has been Home Helpers to the tune of $18/hr negating much of what I make on the job. Wouldn't take much time at all to accumulate over a hundred bucks for a day for her care. We are in "no-man's" land.

We are too poor to pay out of pocket on our own and too "rich" to qualify for any social programs offered only to lower income/ essentially destitute people. I have been paying into your social programs designed to help the needy for over 45 years but when it is now time for me to use the programs I so desperately need, I am excluded. They have taken my payroll deductions for decades and I have been left out when I need the programs the most.

The pain thing I was referring to happens to be a Tylenol or two once in a while, not on a daily basis. I'm not fond of popping pills either. I would doubt that the dosage I am taking would cause any lasting effect concerning toxic buildup.

It is awfully hard to want to help "those people" when I see that they don't value their own life either as they are repeat offenders in the Narcan treatment responses. Again, do we really need to do the caring for people who don't care themselves? Why are we the custodians for the house that heroin built? Let 'em go Tony. That's what they want.

Banning Narcan may not stop the heroin epidemic completely, but it will cut into the number of users through attrition as they pass on. Might even keep those considering using heroin from using at all as they would know that there is no bailout to revive them, but I doubt they are perceptive enough to see it.   
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Perplexed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 27 2015 at 12:12pm
Viet Vet -

There used to be a very important elderly/handicapped accessibility plus emergency home repair program offered through the City. CDBG funds were used to leverage other private capital to undertake these endeavors that helped upwards of 100 deserving residents annually.

Now, thanks to the visionary(?) efforts of The Dougmeister and his underling The Fookster, the emphasis of the past number of years has been to randomly and recklessly dismantle neighborhoods via massive residential property demolition. I know of your dear wife's circumstances and it's too bad that your family couldn't have been given a helping hand like the days prior to 2009.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TonyB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 27 2015 at 1:43pm
Vet: your example is exactly what is wrong with current social programs. The idea that you make too much money to qualify doesn't take into account the fact that you can't afford to pay out of pocket without falling into poverty. It is ridiculous to me that you are excluded from a program that you need.

Pain takes many forms and the fact you are able to take care of it with a few Tylenol is good. Tylenol has killed people who have taken it before. It certainly doesn't have the death rate of heroin but it can kill.

Value of life doesn't just happen to those who are in poverty or pain. Addiction isn't something you just stop; wanting to many times isn't enough. When you hear your life devalued by those who would call you "degenerate" or "undesirable" when they have no idea what is going on in your life isn't helpful or motivational. I've seen and known heroin addicts; as bad as it is there is often nothing you can do for them. They need treatment and a reason to see value in living. How you open their eyes to their value is beyond my understanding; that is for professionals. Banning something that saves lives makes absolutely no sense. Heroin epidemics have been around for centuries without Narcan and just because someone died from an overdose hasn't ever stopped it. Cutting the supply would be a much better solution.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 27 2015 at 2:05pm
TonyB:

"Banning something that saves lives makes absolutely no sense"

But do they want their lives saved if they keep using, living on the edge of death and being bailed out by Narcan?

Saving a life that doesn't care if it is saved makes no sense either IMO.

Where do we draw the line and stop helping them Tony? This endless cycle of using and bailing out can't go on forever.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TonyB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 27 2015 at 3:04pm
It doesn't go on forever. If they keep playing Russian Roulette with heroin, they are going to lose. A user never understands that. It's not that they don't care; it's that they think it will never happen to them. That point of view isn't exclusive to drug addicts. Many people do things and never think that the consequences will happen to them. Driving drunk is the prime example of that.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 27 2015 at 3:27pm
TonyB: "The idea that these people are somehow "weak" after they have been beaten down by a system that threw them overboard because it was profitable for business to lower wages and standard of living is callous. Most of them would be happy for a job that paid a living wage and provided the opportunities that "America" was supposed to stand for"
 
Tony, aside from people who are elderly or legitimately disabled (that's a whole other discussion), I'm guessing 90% of the recipients of Section 8, food stamps etc you will find fall into one of two camps -- (1) a lazy male adult who never paid a bit of attention in school or acquired any skill of note. This person may do some work under the table or possibly deal in some illegal activities.  This person figures that making $8-9/hour somewhere isn't convenient to his schedule and working 30-40 hours a week is wayyy too taxing on his lifestyle.  The other camp includes unwed (of course) mothers who decided to have kids starting at age 15, 16, or 17 and proceeded to have multiple kids with multiple daddies.  This person may even live with a boyfriend (see #1) and deny it when filling out applications for assistance.  Having kids and the welfare it brings may even be the goal.
 
Keep in mind, in this economy it doesn't take a ton of brains or tuition to find a job making upwards of $14-15/hour.  Tons of jobs for medical jobs, trucking jobs, etc.  What is your idea of "living wage"?  If you are a loon who thinks burger flippers deserve $15/hour you need to take a couple of Finance and Economics course.
 
You are a true protectionist.  Barriers to trade should be put up and every person with a pulse should be pulling down union-level wages, right?  While there is fallout from free trade, one thing the complainers never want to consider is that the companies, the wealthy who need goods and services here, and many jobs may not be here without some degree of global expansion.  Without it, your Big Mac may cost $7.50 and your trip to Walmart about $150 instead of $60. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TonyB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 27 2015 at 9:10pm
Your "guessing" is about 100% incorrect. Perhaps you should do some research on the qualifications for Section 8 and Food Stamps before you make such inaccurate accusations. I don't eat at McDonalds so my Big Mac costs me nothing. However, how do McDonalds franchises in Australia pay almost double per hour to their workersyet their Big Mac cost less than it does here. I don't know about a "true protectionist" but I'd rather see every person pulling down union wages that this ridiculous race to the bottom that "Right to Work" has caused. It isn't fallout from free trade, it's the wholesale selling out of America for corporations to exploit cheap labor and lax regulation for greed. Show me how the American worker has benefitted from "Free Trade" because I don't see it.

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