What Steps Should You Take If a Loved One Passes Away at Home?
Even when death is expected, the emotional nature of losing someone can make it difficult to know what to do once the time comes. From contacting the right individuals to arranging for a burial service near the Bay Area, the following are the steps that you should take if a loved one passes away at home.
Obtain a Pronouncement of Death
The first thing you should do when a loved one dies at home is acquire a pronouncement of death. To do this, contact the hospice nurse if the deceased was under hospice care. If she was not under hospice care, then call 911. Also, if your loved one completed a do-not-resuscitate document, then have this ready for when the police or paramedics arrive.
Arrange for Transportation and Care
If no autopsy is needed, then you can contact your funeral home of choice to arrange for the body to be picked up. Then, if the deceased had dependents or pets, preparations for their care will need to be made. It is also a good idea to arrange for someone to take care of the decedent’s home, for example by watering plants, collecting mail, and disposing of perishable food.
Notify Others of the Death
After planning for the transportation of the body, you can begin the process of notifying others of your loved one’s passing. Some individuals whom you may need to contact include family members, close friends, the county coroner, the deceased’s doctor, and the deceased’s employer.
Organize the Funeral and Burial
At some point during the next few days, you should begin planning your loved one’s funeral and burial services. Start by learning whether the deceased prearranged her burial and funeral services, so that you may know what she wished. If no pre-planning was done, then you will need to make these decisions yourself. If possible, have a friend or family member go with you to lend you support as you make the burial and funeral arrangements.