No matter if a death is sudden, or if it something that was a long time coming, the loss of a loved one makes us feel emotional and overwhelmed. No amount of preparation can fully prepare you for the loss of a loved one. When you are in a heightened emotional state, even the most basic decisions can seem staggering. The following is a rough guideline of what needs to be done within the first 24 hours after death.
When death occurs at home or a place of business
If the person was not under hospice care, the police will have to be notified immediately. The police will be dispatched to the home and place the call to the coroner/medical examiner. The coroner/medical examiner must release the body before a funeral home can do anything. If the person was under hospice care, contact the hospice representative if they were not present and they will notify family members what the proper procedures are to follow.
When a death occurs at a nursing home
Nursing homes will often offer you the opportunity to come and stay with your loved one until the funeral home staff arrives. If you choose to stay, when the funeral director arrives, they may ask a few questions about your wishes and set up a time for you to come into the funeral home to make arrangements.
If you are not present, a funeral director will contact you by telephone to discuss these arrangements. If you have not heard from us within an hour of leaving the nursing home, please contact us directly at (908) 352-2268.
When death occurs at a hospital
A hospital will also contact you when a death has occurred, however, unlike a nursing home, they do not typically allow the funeral home staff to visit the room. Therefore, please be aware that our staff will not be able to come for your loved one until your family has left the hospital.
In those instances, you might not have direct contact with the funeral home staff before you leave the hospital. Even if the hospital staff has indicated they will contact us, please call us directly at (908) 352-2268 if you have not heard from us within an hour of leaving the hospital.