The first 5 Things to Do when a Death has Occured

Whether expected or sudden, when someone close to you dies it can be extremely upsetting. Often in the moments after are a blur, as emotions run high – which can be paralyzing. This is why it’s important to know what to do immediately after the death has occurred.

Have the death pronounced

If your loved doesn’t pass away in a hospital, you will need a legal pronouncement of death. If your loved one was under at-home hospice care, call the hospice nurse to pronounce it, otherwise call 911. If there is a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order, have it available for when the emergency personnel arrive. They can pronounce the death.

Have the body transported

If the death is not suspicious and you don’t require an autopsy, you can contact the funeral home to arrange transportation. The staff at Chapel Ridge Funeral Home and Cremation Centre in Markham are professional and compassionate when it comes to these difficult situations. Your loved ones body will be treated with dignity and respect.

Notify the family doctor or coroner

If the death occurred outside of a hospital, it’s important that you reach out to the deceased’s family doctor. If they didn’t have a doctor, contact the coroner.

For York Region call 416-314-4000 or toll-free at 1-877-991-9959. This will connect you to Ontario Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services – Office of the Chief Coroner.

Notify family and close friends

For many, this is the most difficult step. Having to inform family and close friends of the death isn’t easy – but it’a an important step. While having to delivery sad news isn’t fun, it can be nice to have a support system. Loved ones can share the burden with you by helping one another through this difficult time.

Arrange for child and pet care if necessary

If the deceased has dependants or pets that they were solely responsible for, you need to arrange for short-term care for them until decisions are reached. This is particularly hard when children are involved – but it’s important that they receive care and support right away.

For more tips on what to do when a death has occurred, please read more Chapel Ridge’s website.

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