Caregiver Tip: What to do After Someone Dies

Immediately after a person dies can be an emotional time. Even if you have prepared for the moment, take the time you need to say goodbye. Here are some tips to make the process a bit easier:

  • Arrange any special religious, ethnic, or cultural customs that are performed soon after death. If the death seems likely to happen in a facility, such as a hospital or nursing home, discuss any important customs or rituals with the staff early on, if possible. That will allow them to plan so you can have the appropriate time with the body.
  • Some families want time to sit quietly with the body, console each other, and maybe share memories. You could ask a member of your religious community or a spiritual counselor to come by. If you have a list of people to notify, this is a time you could call them.
  • If hospice is helping, a plan for what happens after death is already in place. If death happens at home without hospice, try to talk with the doctor, local medical examiner (coroner), your local health department, or a funeral home representative in advance about how to proceed.

Get more information about what to do after someone dies on the NIA website

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A common end-of-life question is “What should I do after someone dies?” Get information about what to do, who to contact, and final procedures from the National Institute on Aging: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-do-after-someone-dies #EOL

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