What To Do When Death Occurs At Home

Have you ever thought about what you will do when your loved one dies? Not so much in the long-term sense or related to their funeral service in Melbourne, but more regarding what to do as soon as death occurs. Depending on whether-or-not your loved one was ill, receiving home health care services, or if they are at home at the time of their passing, there are protocols that you can and should follow.

What do you do when a loved one dies at home? Consider the following advice to cope with the death of someone you care for:

(1) Call for emergency medical assistance. 

If the deceased is not under the care of a hospice worker or home health organization, it is advised to call emergency services. If a death is unexpected, it is imperative to call for emergency aid.

(2) Call your loved one’s provider or physician.

Call the hospice or provider serving your loved one, if they are receiving care and the death was anticipated. This typically extends to those with terminal illnesses or progressive diseases, like Alzheimer’s.

(3) Don’t try to clothe or clean your loved one.

The provider or nurse will clean-up and make sure that your loved one is clothed before departing the residence.

(4) Find a copy of the advanced directive.

Is there an advanced directive in place? This typically lays out what the deceased wishes, wants, and has planned in the event of their death. This reiterates the need for discussion surrounding last wishes before it becomes necessary to make plans.

(5) Make sure any ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ order is displayed where it can be seen.

If your loved one has been sick or battling health issues, they may have a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ (DNR) order in effect. These are usually posted someplace that it will be visible to caregivers, providers, and personnel in case of death. If there is not a DNR posted, emergency aid workers will attempt to revive your loved one.

(6) Call your spiritual adviser.

This is the time to reach out for your spiritual adviser, clergy, or for last rites. This is something that will be identified and specified on an advanced directive, which can make it much easier for grief-stricken family members to know what to do and who to call.

(7) Take some time.

You will be given the opportunity to sit for a bit with your loved one’s remains if you have been anticipating the death or if the deceased was under hospice care. If the death was unexpected, you may need to take this time after the body has been removed from the house and is at an area funeral home.

(8) Know where your loved one’s remains are going.

Speaking of funeral home, do you know where your loved one’s remains are going? The professionals attending the death, such as your hospice worker, doctor, or emergency personnel, will ask you about where you would like your loved one’s remains to be taken; you can save time and hassle by knowing whether your loved one will be having a traditional burial or cremation, as well as whether or not you are having a funeral service. This helps to pinpoint where the body should be taken following removal from the home.

(9) Don’t worry about money right now.

Your funeral director or cremation professional will often be able to provide services while you wait for life insurance funds to come through, if this is applicable. This usually involves signing a promissory note, of sorts, and allowing the funeral home to take out their dues prior to insurance funds being dispersed to beneficiaries.

(10) Ask your funeral director about death certificates.

Your funeral director can get copies of death certificates for you, generally at a surcharge. You will need these to take care of the deceased’s affairs, as well as for probate court later-on.

(11) Let the funeral service provider know if you are writing your own obituary.

Writing your own obituary? Make sure to let the individual handling your arrangements know this in advance, as many funeral homes provide and charge for this service, too.

(12) Contact other family members, pronto.

Be prepared to provide written consent from the majority of surviving family members or heirs before remains can be cremated or buried, in most circumstances. Acquiring current contact information for other siblings, children, or relatives can be a helpful preparation to make now, in case you need it later.

(13) Start your own preplanning right away.

Let the death of someone you care for reaffirm the need to preplan; don’t wait to begin preplanning your final arrangements– or the arrangements of those you care about.

If you care for or about someone in a nursing or medical setting, you won’t need to worry about what to do when someone dies at home at night, however if they live autonomously or with home health care in-place, the protocols mentioned above are still warranted.

Engage those you love in an open and honest conversation regarding death and last wishes; this is a discussion that should not wait until illness prevails or death is imminent. Discuss what and how your loved one wants to be memorialized, and what they wish their interment to be.

It is not too early to begin planning your funeral service in Melbourne, and Fixed Price Cremations, at 1300 262 797, can provide more information about options as well as a cremation package that suits your distinct situation, needs and preferences.

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