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What to Do When Someone Dies

Published: February 11, 2022

When someone dies unexpectedly at home you will call 911. If there is an advance directive you will want to have it in hand otherwise, it is standard procedure for paramedics to attempt to resuscitate the individual. Transportation to a medical facility will likely take place. By way of preparation, if you have signed an advance directive; those most likely to be present should you die, should be aware of the location of the document.

When a person dies at home who has an advance directive that stipulates do not resuscitate and the death is not unexpected you may not be required to call 911. In this case you will contact the person/doctor in charge of care. 

When someone dies at home under hospice care the hospice care provider will be able to pronounce the death. Once death is pronounced the funeral home or mortuary of the family’s choice will be called and will come to the home to take the deceased into their care. By way of preparation, the family should choose a funeral home when a family member is admitted into hospice care.

When a person dies while traveling away from home 911 will need to be called. If there is an advance directive requesting do not resuscitate this document will need to be produced for the paramedics. Once death is pronounced by either a physician or the coroner YOUR HOMETOWN FUNERAL HOME SHOULD BE CALLED. Depending on the distance from home, your hometown funeral provider will either travel to collect the deceased or make arrangements to have the body transported to their location. Calling your local hometown funeral home is all that is necessary. 

By way of preparation, especially if you are a frequent traveler, you should contact your funeral home to discuss how to prepare for the unexpected. Most travel programs offer insurance protection for health emergencies and return of body expenses for each individual trip you take. Many funeral homes offer similar or better protection for all the trips you may take. The funeral home program is a pay once and be covered program that eliminates the added expense with each individual trip. It will also work even if you are just a hundred miles away visiting the grandchildren.

Vitt, Stermer & Anderson Funeral & Cremation Services has been serving the families of Cincinnati with respect and professionalism since 1899. They provide quality funeral, burial, cremation and memorial services as well as special services for veterans from their locations in Delhi and Cheviot. They also provide options to pre-plan and pre-pay for your final wishes in advance. Learn more at


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