When A Death Occurs
When a death occurs, the order in which things need to be done often depends on where the death occurred. But, one thing should always be remembered: your heightened emotional state upon the death of a loved one. That's why we suggest that you ask a friend for help - someone who is more able to think clearly, and give you the support you need.
At Home or at Work
When a death occurs at home or in the workplace, a family member or co-worker should contact emergency personnel and the person's physician if he or she was under a doctor's care. If the death occurs at home with family and the person is under hospice care, the family will want to contact hospice directly, who will then, in turn contact us after they have arrived at the home.
However, if the death occurs in a residence and no one is there at the time of death or hospice is not involved, the police will need to be notified and respond to the residence before the deceased is removed from their home.
If in any case you are not sure of who to notify or what to do, you may call (717) 763-7440, and we'll assist you in notifying the proper agencies.
While Under Supervised Care
When a death occurs in a care facility, such as a hospital or nursing home, the professional staff will notify you and the necessary authorities. If the name of the funeral home has been left with them, the institution will notify the funeral home at the time of the death. The funeral director will contact you immediately following their notification to help you proceed. (However, we suggest you contact the funeral home immediately, so you've got the reassurance you need that all is taken care of properly.)
If a loved one was in the care of a hospice program, a hospice representative will give family members instructions and procedures to follow. The coroner/medical examiner will be notified by hospice. Following their release, hospice will contact the funeral home. It is always a good idea for the family to contact us immediately so that we will be aware of the pending call from hospice.
Widening the Circle
Our staff members are experienced professionals who can provide much of the information you need, emotional support and compassionate guidance.
While you may ask the director any questions at this time, you will be able to discuss the arrangements in detail later when you meet in person. During this initial call, the funeral director will gather information to be able to transport your loved one to the funeral home.
The funeral director may ask you several questions, including whether your loved one made any pre-arrangements. The director will also schedule a date and time for you to meet at the funeral home and will let you know what you should bring with you. Others you will need to call are:
- Clergy or other spiritual advisors
- Family members and friends
Those Important Questions
If there is no pre-plan in place, there are several other questions that you may have to have answered in regards to the death of your loved one:
- Do I have to have embalming?
- Do I need to purchase a casket?
- What about cemetery arrangements?
- Does the family have to engage the services of a minister?
- What type of service should we have?
By contacting our staff, we'll be able to help answer your questions and assist in making the appropriate plans. However, as we’ve said before, one of the best ways to make sure that all of your questions and desires are taken care of is to make pre-arrangements. This is as simple as outlining your wishes to having all of the details written down and the financial arrangements prepaid. Please contact one of our staff at (717) 763-7440 to learn more about pre-arrangement.
What to Expect When You Arrive at the Funeral Home
When you sit and visit with us, one of the first things we will do is to provide you with our price lists and guide you through the entire arrangement process, explaining how you can create a memorable personal celebration of your loved one's life.
The arrangement process will include:
· Gathering vital statistic information in order to file the official death certificate
· Selecting a casket, vault, or urn
· Selecting a register book, memorial folders or prayer cards
· Selecting flowers
· Preparing an obituary
· Contacting pastors, priests, churches, and/or cemeteries to coordinate service dates and times
You may also sign necessary authorizations or make arrangements to have them signed by the legal next of kin.
Feel free to bring any photos, music (on cd) or memorabilia so that you and our funeral arranger can discuss how you would like your loved one to be remembered.
More and more people today choose to personalize the funeral service they plan for their loved ones. Favorite music, awards special projects, or even their favorite rocking chair can all become part of the services. Many families bring in their loved one’s cat or dog to the service, which can be very therapeutic for family and friends. We will listen and assist you in planning a loving tribute that captures the spirit of the person whose life you wish to honor. We can incorporate many themes, such as gardening, farming, sports, beach, veteran, etc. to help customize the service.
The following checklist will help you remember what information about the decedent and items will be needed when meeting with us.
- Full legal name
- Legal home address
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Father's name
- Mother's maiden name
- Occupation and place of employment prior to retirement
- Highest level of education (high school, college degree, ie: associates, bachelors, masters, etc.)
- Veteran's discharge papers (DD-214)
- Recent Photograph for cosmetic purposes, and either the same or different photo for newspaper
- Place of burial (if applicable)
- Clothing for traditional services only
- Clergy name and phone number
- Survivors (name and relationship) for obituary
- Insurance policies (if applicable)