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What to do when someone dies?

What Do You do when someone dies?



Who to Call First

In almost all cases, you should call a doctor first when someone passes away. Doctors, paramedics and registered nurses can declare a person dead officially and sign a death certificate. It’s best to handle this immediately so all other arrangements can be made.

Death in Nursing Homes & Hospitals

If the person dies while being cared for in a hospital or nursing home, you will be informed immediately. Many hospitals have mortuaries and can hold onto the body for any length of time while you organise burial, cremation, funerals, etc. Nursing homes will not have the same facilities and may pass the body on to a funeral home or mortuary quickly.

Making Funeral Arrangements

Once you’ve communicated with the necessary medical parties, you should contact a funeral director right away. They will come to your location, even to your home, to talk over what kind of funeral arrangements you would like to make. Your loved one may have a pre-arranged funeral plan, in which case you would want to contact the specific funeral director.

You may want to call other family members and friends before the meeting. It’s important to have the support of others during this time. Close family members can also help you make decisions about funeral specifics.

With the funeral director, you’ll make decisions like:
  • Burial or cremation
  • What kind of ceremony you want
  • If there will be a viewing or not
  • When the funeral should be held
  • Where the service will take place
  • Who should be involved in it
  • What your loved one will be wearing
  • Appropriate tributes & décor (flowers, plaques, etc.)
  • Who should be at the burial or the funeral service
All you have to do is make the decisions. Your funeral director will take care of all the details from there, even as far as making a funeral announcement in the newspaper and organising a visitation service.

Timing Guidelines

Most funerals take place between 2–5 days after the death. If there are extenuating circumstances of any kind, the ceremony may be delayed. However, under normal circumstances, you can proceed at your own pace.

We’ll Walk You Through It

You’re probably not very familiar with funeral procedures or how to organise a funeral. This is something most people are only involved in once or twice during their lifetime. Central Highlands Funeral Service is here to help you through it, one step at a time. You just tell us what you want and we’ll take care of all the arrangements.