Who do you call if you find an elderly loved one dead?
I'm not trying to be morbid, but I will need to know eventually. It is a rural area with no coroner or hospital.
911. The local government will want at least a cursory report of the cause of death, for the death certificate. They will probably send out an ambulance.
How about the family doctor? If your loved one is beyond help, emergency services could be better employed elsewhere. Maybe call them to ask their advice. It's not being morbid, it's realistic.
Yes, I believe it's 911 or at least the police. When I stayed with my father until he died, I had to call the town police department and they came and did their official thing.
Most rural areas have 911 and that is my first call if there is a problem. Once the person is pronounced dead, you can call the funeral home and they will remove the body for you.
Technically since the person has already passed 911 should not be used. Too many people use 911 for calls that should go to a non-emergency police number. They should be called first to determine if a crime has been committed. Your next call should be to your funeral home of choice.
It will be useful to know the faith of this person, as well as relatives. Relatives, in my experience, are usually called first. Depending on the faith or rather the wishes pre death, a priest may need to be called. Support and experience can also be forthcoming from a friend or neighbour.
Practically, a doctor has to be called for certification; the nurse and sometimes pharmacist, if there were any medical issues going on. Finally, the most knowledgeable nowadays are the funeral parlours. They can give you a full package of what needs to happen from flowers, graves, coffin, costs, last rites, will, etc ....
911 is not a bad option at all. But to me it shouldn’t be the first option in any case. We call 911 for emergencies where we feel danger of security. Passing away some loved one is an emergency but it cannot be a danger of security! To me, we should inform the closest of relatives of the dead person so that they can come and see the body for the very last time. Then we should leave the final decision on them whether to call 911, call the family doctor or do something else. It should be a collective decision by the elders of the family and closest relatives.
Also if you leave the work of funeral on authorities you may not be able to perform many rituals that you have planned for the intended person. This can have a permanent disappointment in your mind as you are not able to do the funeral in the way you wanted. Also there may be the matter of property distribution of the deceased. For that purpose the closest relatives must be present at the death spot.
Because of all of these problems the first call should go to the closest relatives and 911 should be the last option.
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Its always after 12am Sunday night - they dont work, so they dont think about others having to get up or whether they are disturbing others or not.
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