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Family Emergency

Nothing adequately prepares us for the initial shock of losing a loved one. Feelings of panic and helplessness may be overwhelming, but it's important to know you are not alone. Reach out to close relatives, friends, and professionals for the help, support, and comfort you need.

Notify immediate family members first.  Do not worry about waking others. Grief research has shown those close to the deceased feel left out if they aren't told about a death immediately.  Enlist their help in notifying extended family and close friends. Helping you notify others will also help them begin the grieving process, and allows you to carry on with other needed tasks.

It may feel there is too much to be done in what seems like so little time. The emotional impact of death understandably makes it difficult to focus on what needs to get done to arrange a funeral.  We will help you manage all the details.

1. When death occurs at home, what should we do?
 
2. If we are on vacation, and a death occurs what should we do?
 
3. A loved one has died at the hospital, where do we turn?
 
4. A loved one has died in the nursing home, what should we do first?
 

Question #1When death occurs at home, what should we do?
Answer:If the death has been expected, the physician caring for the deceased will be able to pronounce the death and this is the person you should first contact. You can then call the funeral home to remove the body and follow the personal wishes of the deceased.  
If the death is unexpected, the police should be notified. They will dispatch an officer and contact a local coroner or medical examiner who will then decide the level of investigation necessary to determine the cause of death. They will arrange to have the body transferred to the either a hospital or examination center if an autopsy is required (at their cost).  If after a preliminary examination and investigation it is determined no further inquiry is necessary, you may then call the funeral home of your choice to remove the body and carry out the deceased's final wishes.

Question #2If we are on vacation, and a death occurs what should we do?
Answer:If a death was to occur away from the home, i.e. during a vacation or a business trip, then we suggest that you do a few things first.
Call us at the funeral home. He/she will take care of making the necessary contact with a reputable firm in the area that the death occurred.

This action will avoid any possibility of becoming involved with a funeral home outside of your residential area that may care little about matters because they feel they will not ever deal with the family again. When calling us, we can act as your agent, monitoring and avoiding any possibility of excessive, unnecessary or double-billing possibilities.

Contact your local police department and they will dispatch an officer to your location immediately so you will not be alone.

If the death was sudden and unexplained, your local police authorities will make the necessary call to the local coroner to attend to the place of death. A county medical examiner or coroner may be called.

If you have not called your funeral director, you will have to consider doing so as the body will have to be removed by them or an authorized agent. Regrettably, there have been circumstances where police and or coroners have called a funeral home of their choice. While we will not speculate on the motives, often families find themselves being pressured by a funeral home that was called to the scene.

Question #3A loved one has died at the hospital, where do we turn?
Answer:Whether or not you are present when the death occurs at health care facility, a professional will contact you and ask a few questions. Two of the questions you may be asked:

1. Which funeral service provider will you be releasing the body to, for transfer from the hospital?

2. Would you like an autopsy performed? Unless the deceased has died unexpectedly, you will have the choice. An autopsy is the thorough examination of the deceased body, to understand and determine the cause of death or any factors that may have contributed toward the cause of death. The information resulting from an autopsy can help researchers in developing cures and medications to assist in the preventions of such diseases. Autopsies are generally performed quickly, as to not interfere with the funeral process, however you may experience some short delays and should check with the health care professional as to when you can expect the autopsy to be completed if a delay could be of concern to you.

Question #4A loved one has died in the nursing home, what should we do first?
Answer:If you have not called your funeral director, you will have to consider doing so as the body will have to be removed by them or an authorized agent. Regrettably, there have been circumstances where police and/or coroners have called a funeral home of their choice. While we will not speculate on the motives, often families find themselves being pressured by a funeral home that was called to the scene.

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