What To Do When A Death Occurs
Regardless of when and where the death occurs, the family should call us as soon as possible. Although some health care facilities will call the funeral home on behalf of the family, this is the exception rather than the rule. To be safe, it is best that the family calls the funeral home directly. There can be a myriad of questions that can be answered by one phone call to our funeral home when talking to the funeral director. (If the funeral home is made aware that the death has occurred and we have not been notified by the agency where the death occurred we can then expedite the process of having your loved taken into our care and brought to our funeral home.)
There are several things to be considered when a death occurs. The order in which things need to done usually depends on whether the death occurred in a residence, hospital or care facility (nursing home).
If the death occurs in the residence under the care of Hospice or a Home Health Care Provider
Today a large number of people choose to be at home with Hospice or a Home Health Care Provider assisting the family until the death occurs. When the death occurs the family should notify Hospice or the Home Health Care Provider who will then notify the people in the correct order. Hospice or Health Care Provider will notify by a simple phone call the Coroner / Medical Examiner, who must be notified of all deaths that occur in the home, then the physician, and the funeral home. The Coroner / Medical Examiner will not need to come to the home, the phone call notification is all the Coroner / Medical Examiner’s needs in this situation.
If death occurs in the residence but the person was not under the care of Hospice or a Health Care Provider
If Hospice or a Health Care Provider was not involved but the person was under a physician’s care, and family and friends are present, the family may want to call the funeral home directly. 911 should be called as well and an ambulance will come to the residence and the medical technicians will then notify the police. Once the police arrive at the residence they will then follow procedure in notifying the Coroner / Medical Examiner and the physician who was caring for that person. Once the police have completed their normal investigation they will then notify the funeral home.
If the death occurs in a residence and no one is there at the time of death, the police will need to be notified and respond to the residence before the deceased is removed from their home.
If the death occurs in a hospital or care facility, the name of the funeral home may be left with them, and the institution will notify the funeral home at the time of death.
If in any case should the death occur and you are not sure who to notify or what to do, you may call your funeral home and they will assist you in notifying the proper agencies.