An End of Life Doula is a non-medical professional who provides emotional, spiritual, and psychological support to individuals approaching the end of life. Doulas help individuals and their loved ones recognize that dying is a normal process of life, focusing on enhancing the quality of life for everyone involved.
A Doula assists individuals and their loved ones in focusing on what is most important to them. They can participate in Advance Care Planning, help coordinate care, supplement family caregiving, facilitate life review and vigil planning, and provide respite care and bereavement services. They can also help address grief, forgiveness, create ceremonies or rituals, and bring healing practices to the sacred process of dying before, during, and after death.
Services can begin at any stage of the end-of-life process, such as with a life-threatening illness or a terminal diagnosis. Planning ahead benefits not only the person with the illness but also helps families honor their loved one’s wishes.
End of Life Doula care can be provided wherever you are: at home, in the hospital, an adult family home, assisted or independent living communities, or memory care settings.
An End of Life Doula serves as an adjunct or complement to the Hospice team. While the Hospice MD and Nurse manage the medical aspects of an individual’s care, insurance reimbursement guidelines limit the time and care that Hospice service providers can offer. End of Life Doulas are available 24/7 to fill this gap.
The Doula collaborates with Hospice professionals as appropriate to provide the individual and their loved ones with the highest quality of life and care.
A vigil is a transition time when an End of Life Doula is at the bedside as a companion to the individual and their loved ones, much like waiting for a baby to arrive. They might hold your hand, stroke your forehead, read to you, or simply provide a present ‘holding space.’ A Doula helps those at the bedside learn how to support and care for the individual and ensures that their wishes are honored during the dying process.
Yes, the Doula can assist individuals in identifying, honoring, and carrying out the beliefs, rituals, and cultural practices that bring them comfort and peace. End of Life Doulas help create a sacred death experience for individuals in any care setting, defining the type of care wanted, needed, and required at the end of life. They fill the gap between medical and hospice care to support non-medical care needs before, during, and after death.
Yes, please contact us for a complimentary consultation if you have any other questions.