What to do when someone dies in a care home

It’s the phone call you never want to hear, but receiving news of a loved one’s death in a care home is a very real possibility. Similarly to a death at home, you should always be aware of the steps you need to take in these circumstances and have a plan in place for an expected death in a care home.

When someone dies in a care home, it’s slightly different to a home death and a hospital death.

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. As the average stay in a care home may vary from person to person, these care home deaths can often be unexpected and so it’s important to ensure you are sufficiently prepared.

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 professional before any further action can be taken. If the death was expected the medical professional 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. If a medical professional has not seen the deceased within 28 days following the death, the deceased will also have to enter the care of a coroner.

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

What Happens To Outstanding Care Home Fees After Death?

Care home residents who were responsible for the funding of their own care may have outstanding care home fees charged to their estate after they pass. The care home in which they reside is responsible for issuing an invoice to the person in charge of the estate of the deceased, and the money can be taken from their bank account(s) or the sale of their property.

It’s worth noting that any next of kin will not be financially responsible for settling the unpaid costs accumulated during the stay.

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 provider 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 like us here at Distinct Cremations.

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

We are open 24/7 and we will make all the arrangements from taking the deceased into our care to completing all the paperwork. Our customer service specialists will liaise with you to make arrangements for the cremation and keep you updated.

Call us to arrange on 01543 212 000

Arrange a funeral

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. At Distinct Cremations, this means they’ll be bathed, including a hair wash and brush, and dressed ahead of the funeral. We will also conduct any additional services, if needed, such as the removal of pacemakers or artificial mechanisms which is included in the cost.

We'll also make provisions to rest the deceased in their coffin to be transported to the funeral venue and we will let you know the date of the cremation.

After the funeral

Once the funeral has taken place, at Distinct Cremations we will hand-deliver the ashes back to you within 14 days of the cremation at no extra cost. You can also have the ashes scattered in the crematorium's garden of remembrance if you prefer.

If you have chosen a different provider, they will notify you of the arrangements regarding the return of ashes. If you choose a burial, it is recommended that a headstone be erected no sooner than 6 months so the ground around the burial site can reset properly. The Registered Grave Owner will notify you of the details.

Arranging a funeral with Distinct is straightforward and our customer service specialists are available 24/7 for any of your questions.

1. Call Us

When you are ready, you can call us any time of the day, 365 days a year, and we will collect your loved one from the place of death, bringing them into our care.

Call On 01543 212 000

2. Help with the paperwork

Whilst your loved one is cared for in our high quality mortuary facilities, our customer service specialists will contact you to book the cremation and complete all the paperwork.

3. Cremation and ashes

We will tell you the cremation date, if you wish to know. Your loved one's can then be scattered in our garden of remembrance or returned to you at no extra cost.

What to do when someone dies at home

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When someone dies at in hospital

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The definitive guide to arranging a funeral

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Bereavement support & guidance

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How long after a death is a cremation?

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