Have you heard of an End of Life Doula? Their use is on the rise within our increasingly socially isolated world. To learn more about them, what they do and why to use one, read more here:
What is an End of Life Doula?
You may have heard of a Birth Doula, who ushers in new life by providing compassionate and specialised personalised care to women through pregnancy, birth and after birth support. An end of life or death Doula uses the same care principles, working to hold a peaceful space for those dying and their families – by providing emotional support, resources, education and companionship.
An End of Life Doula is a ‘non-medical end of life carer.’
An end of life Doula is trained and experienced in accepting the dying process as a natural part of life not to be feared. While many won’t talk about death, a Doula will offer emotional support, within your belief system, with the intention of mediating a sense of meaning, connection and purpose.
What does an end of life doula do?
In a time where death has become increasingly medicalised and more frequently occurs in hospitals and nursing homes rather than the family home, an end of life Doula fills the space that was, in the past, more traditionally filled by the community.
An end of life Doula will work alongside other professionals and family and friends. They take on a holistic approach with a non-medical skill set. They offer an all-round service. As dying and death is a unique experience, they will start by wanting to know what’s important to you and how they can serve you best. Their goal is to provide thoughtful and proactive support to ensure the best quality of life in line with your wishes.
After planning and preparation, a Doula will hold space for you to focus on the intense work of withdrawing from the physical world. They will also provide comfort and care for your loved ones so that they can feel more confident and complete in all that can be done for you at this time.
A Doula’s services can be provided in the home, aged care, hospice and palliative care facilities and hospitals.
What are the reasons / benefits of hiring one?
- They ensure all your wishes and needs are met.
- They provide comfort and care to family and friends.
- They work alongside your care professionals.
- They will offer you emotional support and guidance.
- They are well informed in the dying process and can be a great source of information and knowledge.
- They work within your belief systems.
- They offer companionship, in an increasingly socially isolated world.
- They have open and honest conversations about death.
- They can offer post death, bereavement care for your family and friends.
- They can support you with funeral arrangements.
How can I hire an end of life doula?
If you are interested in hiring an end of life Doula, first do your research and reading. This blog on what to ask when hiring an end of life doula may assist.
It’s also important to remember that Doula’s are not medical professionals – they are not nurses, doctors, counsellors or psychologists and while they are trained there isn’t any regulation in this industry.
There is more on end of life Doula’s in the links below, including some listings of trained Doula’s.
Sources and further reading and information: