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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. It is important to reach out to close relatives, friends, and professionals for the help, support, and comfort you need. Notifying family and friends is always an important consideration in the initial tasks to be completed. Call immediate family members first, parents, children, brothers, sisters and grandparents of the deceased. Again, do not worry about waking others. Grief researchers say those close to the deceased feel left out if they aren't told about a death immediately. Rely on others to assist you in notifying everyone: do not attempt to do this yourself. It not only helps others through the grieving process to have some responsibility, but also allows you to carry on with other tasks. Although it may be difficult, telling others of a death it is therapeutic. Saying aloud that a loved one has died, the death is confirmed in your mind - an important step in the grief process.

So much is to be done in what seems like so little time. The emotional impact of death understandably makes it difficult to focus on the details that go into organizing a funeral. Also by clicking on the resource centre on the home page, you open a wealth of information and guidance to assist you through all of your needs.

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 death of 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, you are most likely to be in the care of a local hospice group if the person you love is at home. They should be your first call. You can, or either have the hospice nurse  call the funeral provider of your choice to transfer the person you love to their area of safe-keeping and preparation.  
If the death is unexpected, local law enforcement should be notified. They will in turn 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 remains transferred to the either a hospital or the medical examiner's office if an autopsy is required (at their cost). Once the remains has been transferred and the examination completed you have the right to choose the funeral provider you wish to serve your family. If after a preliminary examination and investigation it is determined no further inquiry is necessary, you may then call the funeral provider of your choice to transport the remains of the one you love to the your provider's area of safe-keeping and preparation.

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 your funeral provider in your home town immediately. They 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 your personal funeral provider, they will act as your agent, monitoring and avoiding any possibility of excessive, unnecessary or double-billing possibilities.

Contact local law enforcement where you are, if in another area, and they will dispatch an officer to your location immediately so you will not be alone.

If the death was sudden and unexplained, the local law enforcement 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 because your loved one will have to be removed by them or an authorized agent. Regrettably, there have been circumstances where law enforcement and or coroners have called a funeral provider of their choice. While the urgency for removal of the remains is great, often families find themselves being contacted and compelled to make quick decisions by an unwarranted funeral provider that was called to the scene. This can be eliminated by calling your funeral provider choice in your home area immediately.

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

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

2. Are you considering that an autopsy performed? Unless the deceased has died unexpectedly and without probable cause, you will have the choice. Generally, if the person you love has been under the care of a physician for a period of time, and the physician that has been treating the individual for a particular disease or condition agrees to sign the death certificate, an autopsy is not necessary. An autopsy is the thorough surgical examination of your loved one, to understand and determine the cause of death or any factors that may have contributed towards the cause of death. The information resulting from an autopsy may help researchers in developing cures and medications to assist in the preventions of such diseases. Autopsies generally do not interfere with the funeral process, however you may experience some short delays and should check with your funeral provider 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 provider, you will have to consider doing so as your loved one will have to be transferred by an authorized agent somewhere. Regrettably, there have been circumstances where nursing home staff, law enforcement and or coroners have called a funeral provider of their choice. There have been times that families find themselves being compelled by an unwarranted funeral provider, that was called to the scene, to make hasty decisions. These circumstances can be eliminated by calling your funeral provider immediately.