Many people prepare for the final moments of their lives. They write wills, name next of kin, and may even designate a power of attorney. However, death is different for everyone. Some things cannot be prepared for.
Say, for example, that a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer. They have been following their cancer regiment when, suddenly, their health worsens, they are hospitalized, and they are given only months to live. In the hospital, the doctors will try to optimize the patient’s physical problems. Additionally, palliative care doctors can provide medical advice on medications, diet, and other basic therapies that may make the process more comfortable. If the patient has less than 6 months to live, they can pursue hospice, a more intense palliative care that utilizes different types of medical professionals to ease the process.
However, all of these professionals do not devote much time to the spiritual needs of the patient and the patient’s family. They cannot address all of the emotional and psychological aspects while the patient traverses through this difficult time. Doulas, however, are there to help their patients make that emotional journey.