DEAR SAVVY SENIOR: Do you know of any services or organizations that provide gravesite care and decorating? My 82-year-old mother cannot take care of dad’s grave anymore, and I don’t live nearby to do it either. — Need Help 

DEAR NEED: As a general rule, most cemeteries only provide basic grounds maintenance like mowing the grass and trash pickup. Special gravesite care is almost always up to the family. But for elderly seniors who have trouble getting around, or for families who live a distance from their loved one’s burial place and can’t get back very often, what options are available? Here are several to check into.

A good starting point is to call a friend or family member in the area, or contact your parent’s church or religious affiliation to see if they would be willing to help you. If that’s not a possibility, contact some local funeral homes or the cemetery staff where your dad is buried to see if they offer any gravesite services.

If you don’t have any luck there, another option is to hire a gravesite care company. These are small individually owned businesses that provide services like plot maintenance including grass trimming and weeding, headstone cleaning and restoration, flower and wreath deliveries and more. And, so you know the work was completed or the flowers were delivered, many companies will take pictures of the gravesite and e-mail or mail them to you.

There are literally dozens of small businesses that provide gravesite care services in communities or regions across the U.S. To find them, try contacting your nearby memorial society or local funeral consumer alliance program (see www.funerals.org/affiliates-directory or call 802-865-8300 for contact information).

If you can’t find a local service to help you, check into some national companies like Grave Groomers (gravegroomers.com) or Gravesite Masters (gravesitemasters.com, 877-476-6687).

The cost for most gravesite care services can range from $30 to $50 for flower and wreath deliveries, $20 to $60 for plot grooming, and $40 to $150 for headstone cleaning and memorial restoration. Special discounts for multiple gravesite services and visits may also exist.

Send questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit:

SavvySenior.org