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When death occurs in a nursing home, what should we do?

You will need to inform the nursing home staff which funeral home you prefer they notify to handle the final arrangements for your loved one.

Whether or not you’re present when the death occurs, a health care professional will contact you and ask a few questions, possibly including:

Unless the deceased has died unexpectedly, you will have the choice. An autopsy is the thorough examination of the deceased body, to understand and determine the cause of death or any factors that may have contributed towards the cause of death. The information resulting from an autopsy can help researchers in developing cures and medications to assist in the prevention of such diseases. Autopsies are generally performed quickly, so as to not interfere with the funeral process. However you may experience some short delays and should check with the health care professional as to when you can expect the autopsy to be completed, if a delay could be of concern to you.

f a death occurs away from the home (during a vacation or a business trip) here are some things you should know.

Contact your local police department and they will dispatch an officer to your location immediately so you won’t be alone. If the death was sudden and unexplained, the local police authorities will make the necessary call to the local coroner. A county medical examiner may also be called.

If you then call us, we can act as your agent, monitoring the process so you can avoid the possibility of excessive, unnecessary or double-billing possibilities. Under your direction, we’ll handle the removal of the body and its transport to your preferred location.

If the police and/or coroners call a funeral home of their choice, your options will be limited.

If the death has been expected, the Hospice Group who has been caring for the deceased should be contacted so they can officially pronounce the death. You can then call the funeral home of your choice to remove the body and follow the personal wishes of the deceased.

If the death is unexpected, the police should be notified. They will dispatch an officer and contact a local coroner or medical examiner, who will decide the level of investigation necessary to determine the cause of death. They’ll arrange to have the body transferred to the examination center if an autopsy is required. You may suggest to the coroner or medical examiner which funeral home you would like to make this transfer.

If after a preliminary examination and investigation, it’s determined no further inquiry is necessary, you may call the funeral home of your choice to remove the body and carry out the deceased’s final wishes.


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