Knowing what to do when someone dies can be confusing, especially at a time when emotions are running high. Here is some information that may be helpful in guiding you through the process.
When a loved one dies at home with support from hospice or palliative care services, the on-duty staff will help with the formalities, such as notifying the treating doctor. The staff from these health services will help you and even call the funeral director on your behalf to arrange the transfer of the person who died to the funeral home.
When a person dies at home without any palliative care services present, the following steps need to be taken:
These days many people die in a nursing home environment. When this occurs, the nursing home staff takes care of the medical formalities. You will need to contact the funeral home of your choice. If you would like to speak to us, please call 06 835-7196.
When your loved one dies in a hospital, the following steps are taken:
Any death can be unexpected. Whether it occurs at home or in a public place, the death may be referred to the Coroner’s Office.
The Coroner is usually involved in the following situations:
When someone dies unexpectedly as above, the police may become involved. Often an ambulance officer is the first person on the scene of a death. They may try to call the deceased’s GP, but may also require police and the Coroner’s involvement.
At this stage the police will contact the on-call funeral director to transport the deceased to the nearest hospital under the Coroner’s jurisdiction (for Hawke’s Bay, this is Hawke’s Bay Hospital. However if a post-mortem is required, the deceased will be taken to Palmerston North). The Coroner liaises between parties including police and the pathologist to establish the cause of death. Only after the Coroner has completed his or her paperwork is the body released to the family and funeral planning can begin.
You are not obliged to use the on-call funeral director who transported the person’s body to the Coroner after death. If you would like Dunstall’s involvement at this time, please contact us.
After a death has occurred it is important to notify the following people:
Please contact us for advice, more information and to talk through what you need to do.