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When a Death Occurs

There are generally three death scenarios; each will require a slightly different approach.

  1. Anticipated Death At Home: Many people choose to die at home rather than at a hospital. If the death is anticipated, you will have time to assemble the Do Not Resuscitate papers and donor forms if they exist. You should know the name and phone number of the attending physician or Hospice nurse. If you have established a relationship with a funeral home, or have pre-paid for a funeral, simply call the funeral home once the family is ready to have their loved one transferred into the care of the funeral home.
  2. Accidental or Unexpected Death At Home: Call 911 to confirm the death and for advice on further steps. If you do not wish resuscitation attempt to be made, have the Do Not Resuscitate forms available. The body may be taken to a funeral home or hospital, or the paramedics may call RCMP who will then call in a Coroner to determine the cause of death. The Coroner’s office will release the body when the cause of death has been determined.
  3. Death in a Hospital or Nursing Home: A physician will determine the cause of death. If you have made arrangements with a funeral home, call them; otherwise, tell the hospital that you need time to make arrangements. The hospital will release the body to whomever you direct.

Phone the funeral home to set up an appointment time. Try and gather any and all of the pertinent information required to make funeral arrangements. Bring this information with you to the funeral arrangement. This may include the deceased’s birth certificate, Social Insurance Number, a photograph of the your loved one, the will, a pre-arranged funeral plan.

Condolences and Tributes

When a Death Occurs