What Do You Do When Somebody Dies At Home

By: James Fender

“Life is what you make it.” We should all live carefully, conscientiously, happily, healthy, debt free and stress free. Never take anything for granted; always be grateful for every blessing. Practice the “golden rule” and treat folk like you want to be treated. Respect others even if you don’t agree with their opinion. Regardless, always honor your parents and elders. Why? Because it’s the God thing to do. And karma is real too. What goes around comes back around; sometimes in double and triple proportion. Actions, thoughts & words are powerful. So, be aware of what you do, say and think. Because your thoughts become your actions. And what you say and do (believe it or not) becomes your reality.

Have you ever wondered what do you do if someone dies at home? Most people have no idea what to do. Contrary to what most assume you DO NOT call the funeral home first when some dies at home.  Here’s what you should do: 

Step one: If they’re NOT in hospice care call 9-1-1.

Step two: While waiting for the paramedics to arrive…pray; stay as calm as possible. Others around you may need your steady emotional; mental strength.

Step three:  Locate the “do not resuscitate” document if one exists. The paramedics will generally start emergency procedures to revive the person if there’s not one available.  

Step four: If paramedics are not successful reviving the individual they’ll then take the person to the hospital emergency room for a Physician to make the declaration.

I mentioned “hospice care” in Step one. I urge you to become familiar with hospice care. It relieves the burden of caring for a dying loved one in multiple ways. Google “hospice care” on the internet to learn about this important service. 

Confronting someone’s death anywhere can be overwhelming; especially if it’s unexpected. Remember your emotional stability is important especially if there are young children involved.

I realize this is a tough subject but it does happen. Hopefully, my insight will help you navigate the process when someone dies at home.


About the author:  James Fender is a native of Lexington, KY. He graduated from Bryan Station High School in 1983. He then attended Mid-America College of Funeral Service. He obtained his Associate Degree in Mortuary Science in 2001. Fender Funeral Directors was opened in 2004. James has one child…a daughter named Janell Fender who earned her Bachelor of Science Nursing Degree from University of Louisville in May 2023. You can find Mr. Fender online at FenderFH.com. The firm’s motto is “Serving every family within their means.”



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