A difficult subject-End of life

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
147 posts
Thank you ladybird and bowlingbun - that is very helpful to me - so i know what needs to be done! Much easier to ask now that hop online hopefuly and blurt out 'he's dead - who do i call' at the time
You may also find this topic helpful - it was started by Bowlingbun earlier in the year

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=18259
Perhaps we can merge them Sue?

As we haven't had any objections so far, maybe we could "sticky" something like this..with maybe an emphasis on easy to find info?
i've been worried for sometime; i don't live with dad; i go in every morning about 9a.m. after the nursery run, stay all day and leave him about 9p.m. when hes ready and settled for bed;
he had a heart attack several weeks ago and although hes now on warfarin they said he is a ticking time bomb;
i worry every morning on my drive over to dad's that he might have had a heart attack and died in the night; i brace myself as i put the key in the lock and call out good morning cheerily; he usually replies good morning straight away, but when he doesn't my heart skips a beat and i cautiously push open his bedroom door fearing the worst;

I'm worried that i don't know what to do should i find dad passed away during the night;
should i dial 999 for an ambulance or the police; should i ring the doctor to come out; should i call for a coronor to visit; i think i'm likely to panic, even though mentally i've tried to prepare myself; i imagine i would just stand there and do nothing or even go and make a coffee while i think about what i'm supposed to do;

i hope its ok to talk about this here because it worries me all the time;
Ricko, I would hazard a guess that you will need to call an ambulance. Does your dad have a DNR (do not resuscitate) order in place? By what you have described I think the answer probably is no, so yes, an ambulance is best.

I wasn't present when my mum died but know that somebody needs to "prounounce" which means that they are officially saying the person has died. If there are no unusual circumstances and the person was known to have a life limiting illness then I don't believe a coroner would have to be involved. If coroner involvement was necessary, you would not have to make the phone call, don't worry.

What I would suggest strongly, and I know how upsetting it is, is to make your decisions about whcih undertaker you are going to use. If a coroner is not needed, then as far as I know, when you have the pronouncement of death, it is up to you to get in touch with an undertaker to come and remove the late persons body from the home.

Undertakers will be able to help you with any information as to what you need to do, it is part of their service.

You will need to register the death and that takes place within 5 working days, you will be told where you have to go. If a GP has done the pronouncement (usually the case) then the GP will write the certification you need to take along when you register the death.

There are costs involved for any extra certificates you may need but that is not for this thread. Hope that has helped Ricko and glad you felt you could ask here. Image

EDIT-Can I just add that what you describe is something that we all fear? Your cup of coffee idea is the best one, truly it is. The hard part is to suddenly realise that there is no rush anymore, no life to be saved as they have gone. Please, time is the one precious thing we have-don't feel guilty about not rushing.
May I just add that if its a sudden death, then you have to have a post mortem. I think the criteria for this is if they havent seen a doctor in the previous 24 hrs. Im thinking of my FIL here who died in hospital, and his death was expected, but because he died in the wee small hours on a Monday and hadnt seen a doctor since the Friday he had to have a post mortem.
Agreed Crocus. When my brother died at home, there was coroner involvement and a post mortem. Better to be aware of these things I think.
thanks ladybird; i'm just wondering if i dial 999 for an ambulance..what do i say Image
does the paramedic 'pronounce' the death and then go away!.. i'm really scared about being left with dad and don't know whether i should 'make him comfortable' or what to do; he does have a funeral plan, but if i just ring them it doesn't sound like they can do the 'pronounce'; i feel terrible talking about this, he could live another 10 years to be 100!...but it does scare me that i might find he died in the night and i want to be sure i know how to do the right things.

EDIT-Can I just add that what you describe is something that we all fear? Your cup of coffee idea is the best one, truly it is. The hard part is to suddenly realise that there is no rush anymore, no life to be saved as they have gone. Please, time is the one precious thing we have-don't feel guilty about not rushing.
thanks so much for that;
i have this feeling that i would just want to take my time; to take it all in and to act calmly; i know it might seem selfish but i think i might just want to have the moment to myself for a bit before having to ring around the family...who i know will just come rushing in... but are in no such rush to see him while he's still alive and i'm looking after him! ...do you think its ok for me to take my time and 'see him off' to wherever they take him, and ring the family after to say what happend;
Ricko, does dad have a lifeline? Mum's is invaluable. When my husband died, I just wanted someone, anyone, to be with me, but that was with a sudden unexpected death, which may be different. I just dialled 999, the ambulance came, the police came, asked me what happened etc. I just let them get on with it, apart from when they took my OH away. I just couldn't bear to be around when they did that. If a funeral plan is involved, then make sure you know the details of the plan, especially who to ring. I expect the company have a website with general "What to do" details. Funerals can be expensive, even a simple one might cost £2,000 plus, so if finance is going to be a major consideration, it would be worth finding out what charges there are, as they might vary significantly. If elderly relatives are involved, using a funeral directors car which holds a number of people needs to be considered. My sons and I used one, as I knew we would be very emotional and not really fit to drive. Also consider if people are coming from a long distance, and what time the funeral will be. We chose to hire a room in a pub near the crematorium and had a buffet meal, because friends were coming from as far away as Australia, Kent, Cornwall, and Northumberland. We had the service around 1pm so those driving to and from the service had the maximum amount of travelling time, a good idea, but the pub really wasn't the sort of place I'd have chosen had I had more time, but they were very experienced and the food was good. As so many people would be driving to the service, the large car park was a consideration.
147 posts