End of Life Doulas
What is an End of Life Doula?
An End of Life Doula is not a new concept. Many cultures for thousands of years have supported the practice of people staying in their homes to die, looked after by family and community. However, in the modern Western world there has been a trend towards nursing homes and hospitalization which can lead to isolation, lack of choice and opportunity for all concerned. Death, which is inevitable, often can become a lonely and somber ‘medicalised’ experience.
An End-of-Life Doula is a non-medical role that provides support, options and education assisting the dying and those around them have their end of life unfold in alignment with their wishes, to preserve the quality of life, well being and self-worth up to and beyond the end of life as we know it.They are the “informed companion” bringing comfort, support, compassion, and assist a person and their family in feeling safe and supported during this important transition.
What does an End of Life Doula do and why would I want to hire one?
Facing the end of life of someone you love or care for is often a very challenging, confusing and overwhelming journey. There are a myriad of things to plan for and manage, options to explore, choices to make and medical and life issues to navigate. Many people around you have needs, opinions and advice. As with all big events in our lives it helps to make a plan, to sort through all the options and choose our preferred way forward.A Doula can guide the person being doula’d and/or their family members and people close to them through the process, telling them what to expect and acting as an advocate for them with medical and nursing staff, the hospital or other care providers, funeral homes, and other personnel involved. Having an end of life doula gives you support, assists you sift through choices looking at all the pro’s and con’s thereby allowing you to make informed choices. Sharing with you options you may not have known about all along the way.Providing a shoulder, an ear that is empathetic, resourceful and understanding of your journey and all it entails…assisting you fulfill this life journey as you choose to.An End of Life Doula will assist in making the road ahead an intimate, sacred and rich experience for everyone involved, whether medical support is required or not, whether at home, in a hospice or hospital – creating ‘home’ wherever you are.