What to do at time of death

When death is expected:

  1. Check to see if any preplanning has been done
  2. Initiate arrangements to fulfill the dying person’s requests, for example, coffin building
  3. Make a list of who to call when death occurs
    This may include:
    Physician, Home Care Nurse, other medical attendant
    Family member or friend with planned phone tree
    Spiritual advisor if desired
    Funeral Provider or Last Wishes Society
    New Denver Hospice if involved, 358 7828.


When expected death occurs:

  1. DO NOT CALL 911
  2. There is no rush to do anything, and no legal requirement to move the body quickly
  3. Make the phone calls as appropriate
  4. Unless there is a form stating the death is expected at home, the person who has died will have to be officially ‘pronounced’ deceased by a medical attendant
  5. To assist the grieving process, review how the death occurred, and encourage expression of feelings
  6. An important step in the grieving process is spending time with the body
  7. It is very important to explain what is happening to children
  8. Make sure that any remaining medication is safely put away until it can be disposed of. It can be given to the medical attendant or a pharmacy for safe disposal.


In case of UNEXPECTED death:

CALL 911 and ask for the ambulance. They will arrange the appropriate service to come, depending on who is available in the area. This may be ambulance attendants or other first responders trained to assess vital signs. They are mandated to start CPR, unless a Do Not Resuscitate request, or a Living Will signed by the person who has died, is available. The Coroner is notified in all cases of unexpected death.