What happens when someone dies in a care home

- 30/11/21

When someone dies in a care home, it’s slightly different to a home death but the steps you’ll need to take are mostly the same. At a care home, you might be with the person when they pass away or you may be alerted to the death by care home staff shortly after the passing. While the exact processes involved differ slightly between managing deaths in England and Wales and Scotland, this is what you can expect to happen when a death occurs in a care home.

1. The death is confirmed and registered

When someone dies in a care home, you’ll need to get the death confirmed officially by a medical practitioner before any further action can be taken. If the death was expected the doctor will issue a Medical Certificate, allowing you to register the death. In the case of an unexpected death in a care home or if the death is suspicious, the deceased may need to enter the care of a coroner first who’ll conduct an investigation into the cause of death.

Managing a death can be a very emotionally draining occasion, so take what time you can before starting the process of arranging funeral care.

2. Care is arranged

Next, you’ll need to make arrangements for the deceased to be cared for until you’re able to hold a funeral. If the deceased held a prepaid funeral plan, you’ll need to get in touch with the relevant funeral providers and make them aware of what’s happened. If the deceased didn’t have a prepaid funeral plan, you’ll need to instruct the services of a funeral provider of your choosing. Care home staff might be able to help you find and contact a funeral provider.

Whether funeral care was pre-arranged or instructed at the time of death, your funeral provider will offer all of its customers the same level of care. Your funeral provider will carefully explain the next steps to you and help you to understand what to expect thereafter.

3. The deceased is collected

Once the funeral provider has been made aware of the death, they’ll arrive at the care home to bring your loved one into their care. In the case of an unexpected death in a care home, the deceased may need to enter the care of a coroner first who’ll determine the cause of death. After that the deceased will enter the care of the funeral provider.

4. Entering the care of the funeral provider

While in the care of the funeral provider, the deceased will be respectfully cared for throughout their stay. They’ll be bathed, including a hair wash and brush, and dressed ahead of the funeral. The funeral provider will conduct any additional services, if needed, such as the removal of pacemakers and embalming if that’s what you’ve chosen.

They’ll also make provisions to rest the deceased in their coffin to be transported to the funeral venue.

5. Arranging the funeral

While the funeral provider is looking after the deceased you’ll need to arrange a funeral and sort out the necessary paperwork in order for the funeral to go ahead. If you need any support, most funeral providers are able to help with this, offering help and guidance where needed.

They’ll also talk you through your options for funerals and make all the necessary arrangements ahead of the funeral, sparing you the additional stress.

At Distinct Cremation, our experienced funeral team is able to collect your loved one from any location at any time. We’ll collect from care homes, hospitals or private homes – wherever we’re needed and we will guide you through the entire process from start to finish.

Contact us today.

Distinct Cremations is a trading name of Distinct Cremations Limited I Registered in England, No. 13366310 and Distinct Funeral Plans Limited (Prepaid Funeral plan provider) I Registered in England, No. 13366327 | Registered Office Westerleigh Crematorium, Westerleigh Road, Bristol BS37 8QP | Part of the Westerleigh Group |