End-of-Life Doulas can:
Frequently Asked Questions
Most frequent questions and answers
What is an End–of-Life Doula?
An End-of-Life Doula is a non-medical person that is trained to care for someone holistically (physically, emotionally and spiritually) at the end of life. Some other names they are known as are: Death Doulas, End-of-Life Coaches, Soul Midwives, Transition Guides or End-of-Life guides.
What do End-of-Life Doulas do?
End-of-Life Doulas are people who support people in the end of their life process. It is “a new non-medical profession” that recognizes death as a natural, accepted and honored part of life. One might say that End-of-Life Doulas are to Hospice Palliative Care as Birth Midwifery is to Obstetrics.
Who needs a End-of-Life Doula?
Anyone can work with a Doula to help them plan their end-of-life care and document their wishes. There is not an age or any specific health status requirements to work with a Doula. Many individuals choose to take proactive steps to address their needs in a number of areas such as Healthcare, Wills and Trusts as well as personal and business property. You may include a Doula after a terminal diagnosis to aid and facilitate a family meeting to offer support to you and the family as everyone works through the dying process.
Is a End-of-Life Doula the same as a Hospice agency?
No; they are different. Hospice is a medical status in which the dying chooses not to pursue any curative measures for their diagnosis. They are a form of medical treatment that involves medication administration, performing personal cares and transferring and re-positioning a client when needed. An End-of-Life Doula is a non-medical person that provides holistic support and comfort to the dying, their family and the Caregiver team and focuses more on being present more than the doing.
When can you start working with an End-of-Life Doula?
People usually begin working with an End-of-Life Doula at key times throughout their life. Most begin when they receive a terminal diagnosis or are facing a life-ending illness. Where others choose to document their wishes during mid-life before they get an illness, this is because they are still well and comfortable making these decisions. Where others begin with a caregiver and then bring in a doula to assist with a loved ones or family member. SO there is no set time when you can work with a end-of-life doula. If you are already facing a life ending diagnosis a doula can assist with the completion of your vigil plan making a legacy project for you to leave for your loved ones and aiding in performing a life review, they can also assist after death by aiding in the after-death planning for a service, eulogy and obituary if asked to assist.
What type of Holistic support do End-of-Life Doulas provide?
End-of-Life Doulas care for the whole person. They take into account the emotional, mental, spiritual and physical needs and factors of the dying. They provide irreplaceable assistance in 3 notable areas of Holistic support:
End-of-Life Doulas provide holistic support as they accompany individuals and their families before, during, and after death. The last phase of our life can stir fear and anxiety as we each face the end of our life. This is simply because we have not walked this path before. Having someone present with the experience and training at such a time can bring a sense of comfort and familiarity to the otherwise unfamiliar.
Everyone wants to have a positive passing where they maintain their dignity and honor as they exit life. We all have our own values, traditions and belief systems that will influence our vision and expectation of what that would look like. It is important to create an environment that represents that vision. This along with developing a legacy and presence work, is what an End-of-Life Doula brings to you and your family.
We are all born and we all die; it’s all about what we do in the middle that creates our legacy. What we leave behind is far more than simply wealth and possessions. They can share their stories or give wisdom, advice, love and support even after passing. In doing so, they give their family and friends a glimpse of their essence – who they were, how they saw the world, and what gave their life meaning. End-of-Life Doulas can help patients with the powerful, uplifting process of developing a client-focused legacy plan.