What is an End-of-Life Doula?
- Modeled after the way birth doulas serve women and their partners before and during labor
- Uphold the belief that death and birth are natural and sacred parts of life and that everyone needs appropriate support during the process
- Bring greater comfort and deeper meaning to the dying and their loved ones by augmenting Hospice/End of Life care with additional time and services
- Utilizing deep listening, we help the patient design a care plan and a vigil plan based on their values, needs and wishes, as well as explore the meaning of their life and create a Legacy Project
- Develop a personalized guided visualization for symptom management and increased comfort; also, using somatic-energy work and light touch (e.g. Reiki) as requested
- The support of an EOL Doula often appeals to those who have experienced a loved one’s death and wished it could have been different. Having a trusting, ongoing relationship with a neutral, caring and knowledgeable person can help ease the distress and anxiety that often follow a terminal diagnosis
Why Hire an End-of-Life Doula?
An End of Life Doula guides a dying person through their final days, creating a comforting space wherever they are, whether at home, in the hospital, facility, etc.
I provide information about the natural dying process and help alleviate the fear, anxiety and depression that is often present during the dying process by offering comfort and support.
People have the right to decide on every aspect of their care at the end of their lives, and End of Life Doulas can help with decision-making based on the patient’s values. Doulas “hold the space” to approach death as an emotional and spiritual—not a medical—experience for both the patient and family.
An End Of Life Doula is especially helpful for patients who have no other family or friends nearby so they are accompanied during their dying time.
Hospice services typically focus mainly on the medical aspect of the dying process, e.g. managing symptoms and providing pain management. Doulas work in conjunction with Hospice, supplementing their service delivery so that a patient who is on Hospice care also benefits from receiving the additional services.