What is an end of life doula?

What is an end of life doula?
6 Responses
  • Anonymous User
    July 14th, 2020

    A guide, someone who guides their client and family through the dying process. They need to be a strong advocate as well. They need to be able to push against the system to make sure the client gets what they need out of their healthcare. You could be walking them through making complicated healthcare decisions. You need to be a professional of some sort; it doesn't matter what background you come from, whether finance or healthcare or another, but you need professionalism.

  • Anonymous User
    July 21st, 2020

    Death doulas are part of a new wave of lay support for dying that supports the mainstream palliative established system. Doulas are people working in their communities and support from a death doula can look like lots of different things. In general, they are people who support you through the journey, from being alive all the way through to dying to the period after death. What often happens is the medical system supports someone during dying and the funeral system supports someone after. But those are two different processes. A death doula covers that whole arc, including the really important gap in between. Some death doulas also do advanced care planning and helping people think more about death. Some do more medical support, more bedside vigils. Some do more spiritual support. Some work with animals. In my work, I work a lot with unresolved deaths from the past. It's a big umbrella under which there's lots of different ways of working, but that's the general arc of it.

  • Anonymous User
    August 29th, 2020

    Death doulas, also known as end-of-life doulas, accompany individuals, their close circle of caregivers, and communities to honor healing and dignity while living, dying, and in death.

    Death doulas provide holistic, existential support from a fundamental basis of conscious compassion. Conscious compassion witnesses human dignity. Each unique individual’s wishes to heal dignity within themselves and in relationships is of primary utmost importance to find serenity. As a witness, death doulas honor the individual’s dignity, listen deeply, help identify wishes and deliver related services or referrals if asked. We optimize comfort, help work through anxieties, and advocate for the individual. Death Doulas complement palliative and hospice medically trained professionals and organizations, resulting in a more comprehensive and beneficial care continuum for all. 

  • Anonymous User
    August 29th, 2020

    An End of Life Doula is a person who works with the dying person and their family. If the dying person has unfinished business the doula can help them complete it. This might include a reconciliation with someone the dying person has had a hard relationship with, or gathering together family pictures and stories that can be left for the family. It might also involve listening to the story of the person’s life, the telling of which can help the dying person examine the things that have given meaning to the life.

    An End of Life Doula talks to the dying person about what they want their end time to look like. What would they like to be surrounded by? Who would they want with them and who not so much? Do they value pain control above all, or is lucid time more of a priority? What brings them joy, and how can they keep that joy as long as possible?

    Once the dying time begins, the doula serves as an advocate for the dying person, making sure that the wishes they have expressed are carried out. The doula also supports the family by listening to them and by explaining the details of the dying process.

    After the death the doula helps the family to take the time they need with the body before it is taken to the funeral home. The doula can help the family create a meaningful personal goodbye ritual, and is often available to help the family begin processing their grief.

  • Chelsea Peddle
    Chelsea Peddle
    September 18th, 2020

    An end-of-life doula is a professional trained in end-of-life care who offers comfort care, information and guidance to individuals and families through the transformative experience of dying and death. Our aim is to bring meaning and reverence to what happens at the end of life in the same way we value other life transitions such as birth, graduations and marriages. EOL doulas do this by supporting people who want to prepare for their one-day death and by accompanying the ill, the dying and their loved ones through the physical, emotional, spiritual and pragmatic changes that come with end of life. As Ram Dass said, "we are all just walking each other home."

    Doulas value compassion and kindness without judgement and the inherent dignity and autonomy of every person. We never replace a family caregiver who is a part of a person’s circle of support. Instead, we lift up and support loved ones so they can be fully present. We help families make plans and prepare them for what is around the corner and hold space for important conversations. We fade away when we're not needed and take up the slack when information, compassion and support are required.

    No matter your goals, our purpose is to help you and your loved ones find comfort while navigating end-of-life with grace and dignity, so you can focus on what matters most: quality time together. 

  • Marggie Hatala BSN, RN, CEOLD, Reiki Master, Author
    Marggie Hatala BSN, RN, CEOLD, Reiki Master, Author
    September 23rd, 2020

    An EOL Doula recognizes the sacredness of life, and walks through the final chapter of their clients’ lives helping to affirm this. Creating sacred space and presence, an EOL Doula allows each moment to be embraced peacefully. In this way, the dying person’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self is ministered to. Affirming that death is a natural part of life, helps the loved ones to spend time in deep conversation or quiet time with the dying person rather than struggling with the truth of the situation. The EOL Doula helps to find closure for all, and to celebrate the life lived while going through the final hours and days.