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FIRST STEPS

What do I do if a loved one dies at home?

This is one of the more difficult questions because it often depends on the circumstances surrounding your loved ones passing.

Often if your loved one has been in palliative care you have been somewhat prepared and may have had discussion about funeral planning.

In this instance it is simply a case of ringing your chosen funeral director who will arrange to bring your loved one into their care when you are ready.

If the manner of death is sudden, accidental or otherwise, in this case it is always advisable to ring the ambulance on 000.

Generally in this case the ambulance service will work with the friend or family member to preserve life and if this is not possible they will then contact the family doctor and/or the police.

The police are well versed in the steps necessary in this process and will attempt to acquire a certificate from the deceased’s GP.

If this is not possible it is natural for the death to then be referred to the coroner in order to acquire a death certificate which will generally take days or weeks depending on the circumstances.

If family or friends feel comfortable, they can begin funeral arrangements while waiting for the coroner to concluded their investigations, although Penny advises that organising a date for the funeral service is not advisable until the their loved one is in the care of the funeral director to save unnecessary stress.