If your loved one dies at home

If your loved one dies at home while he or she is on hospice care:

  • Call the hospice nurse if he or she is not already at your home.

  • The hospice staff will come to your home and pronounce your loved one deceased.

  • Some hospices will provide you some memory making activity such as hand prints, finger prints, or saving a lock of hair. You can ask your hospice about memory making activities

  • The family may spend as much time as they need with their loved one

  • In Texas if a child is less than 6 years old, the medical examiner, the Justice of the Peace, or Sheriff must be notified of the child’s death. If the child is over 6 years old, there is no need to call. 

  • If the medical examiner, Justice of the Peace, or Sheriff releases the body, then the hospice staff will help you provide any care for your loved one after death such as bathing your loved one or removing any tubes or lines if you want this done.

  • Together, a family member and hospice staff will dispose of left over medication

  • When your family is ready, the hospice personnel will call the funeral home to pick up your loved one.

If your loved one dies at home without hospice care:

  • Ambulance/EMT and/or police are called. They usually arrive with sirens.
  • CPR is done upon arrival to your home unless the loved one has an out-of-hospital do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order.
  • Families are not allowed to touch the loved one.
  • The loved one is transported to the emergency room to be pronounced deceased. The situation of your loved one’s death will determine if an autopsy is needed.