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Nothing pressing, I'm just trying to prepare for the possibility. Previously my other relatives have all died in hospitals. What does someone do if someone dies at home? Do we call 911 and have them taken to a hospital to be declared dead? Do we call the cops? Do we call a mortuary? Should I prepare by establishing a relationship with a mortuary?

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Please take the time if you haven't already to get advanced directives in order. My mother decided years ago that she didn't want to be resuscitated and had a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order on file (her doctor had to sign it). She has it on her refrigerator. If your loved one has a terminal illness that's one way to do it should Hospice not be involved. I'm not an expert on these things but keeping records and legal documents up-to-date is important. My husband and I have started to talk about end-of-life wishes, but it's slow going due to his attention span. He has Alzheimer's and one day he'll be up to discussing things, but another day he won't be able to concentrate on it.
So, I urge everyone to take care of things before you have an emergency.
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needtowashhair, if you know a love one will be passing within a month or so, try to get Hospice involved. Since Hospice isn't there at the house 24 hours a day, chances are you would need to contact your Hospice nurse that the love one had just passed.... then a nurse practitioner or doctor will come over to the house to set a time of passing. Then Hospice will call the funeral home for you.

I would make prior arrangements with the funeral home, as afterwards it can be too emotional to try to make decisions. One of the biggest and most time consuming decision is purchasing a burial plot, if the love one hadn't already made arrangements.
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Another form beginning to gather steam is a POLST - Physician's Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment. This can be taped over the bed in a pink envelope so EMT's won't try to a dying person. Some EMTs ignore DNRs and follow POLST only, depending. I'd go for both!

Do try to get hospice involved. It's so much more comfortable.
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Is this person on Hospice?
If so all you need to do is call Hospice, they will send someone out, if there is no one there at the time of death. They will "pronounce" the death and make the necessary calls.
If you have made the arrangements with the funeral home they will also call the funeral home. And they will wait until the Funeral Home has come.
If the person is not on Hospice you will need to call 911.
If this person is not currently on Hospice call a local Hospice and get this person on service so you will have the help and support that you need.
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Call 911 and explain what has happened and they usually do the rest , we lost my father in law and brother in law in seperate illnesses 2 years ago, they both passed away at home and lived alone ,after calling 911 they will ask you some questions, they asked if we could do CPR on my brother in law, we had to explain why we would not,full rigor had set in and there was no amount of CPR bringing him back, the cops show up and they call the coroner who will set the time of passing ,at least thats the way they do it in our area
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If you are caring for someone with a terminal illness there will be protocols to set in place which vary in different places - in the USA most often through Hospice. If someone has died unexpectedly and you call 911 then police and EMS will do what they are trained to do, which is try to revive the patient and probe for a suspicious cause of death, neither of which you want.
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It's interesting all the different protocols each entity has...and I'm always in awe of how most if not everyone has wonderful things to say about hospice...I myself did not have a great experience with them...but anyhoo...when my Dad died at home we called the funeral home and they came and got him, few days later I picked up his ashes...for everyone who has gone through this I feel for you...watching your parent wither away and die is gut wrenching...
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I found that hospice would come to the house. They call mortuary. I made mistake of not mentioning my partner had bought a cremation package. So now hospice called cremation people who then call mortuary. Also if loved one is being buried out of state the mortuary may have to inbalme to transfer over state lines. So it can get expensive . Carrying ashes to another state can also mean you have to pay for a license to carry it. It's crazy
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Every state or jurisdiction has their own procedures. Most have to have the coronor or a medical examiner certify the death.

In my case 911 helped me with CPR over the phone until EMS came. When they could not resusitate, they called the county coroner. In our area, the body cannot be removed until the coroner assesses the situation and releases the body. The also talked to who was at the home at the time and asked to see all (12!) the types of medications the person who died was taking. At that time, we were able to call the funeral home to come get the body. I also know that in some areas, the coroner transports the body if they think a autopsy is needed.

Grim details, I know, but it never hurts to ask questions and be prepared. Why not call a local funeral home and ask them how things typically work in your area?
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When my sister was in hospice care, the hospice counselor strongly suggested that I plan ahead and pay for arrangements with a funeral home. I talked to several locally, and found one who allowed pre-payment and who gave me exact prices for everything before I signed anything. This was extremely helpful, as when she passed, hospice contacted them and they provided all their services with no extra "surprise" charges. I learned later that many funeral homes don't allow pre-payment, since at the time of grief it apparently is relatively easy for them to charge whatever they want, and families will find a way to pay. This seems outrageous, but it's how the funeral industry can work sometimes.

So my suggestion to anyone expecting a death, look around and speak to several funeral homes. Find one that allows pre-payment, and pay for all services beforehand.
It was such a relief to have this dealt with for me, once my sister died. Looking for services while grieving would have been horrible.
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