What Is An End Of Life Doula?
The role of an end of life doula is to educate and empower families to exercise their innate right to care for their own dead. Death midwives or doulas "provide emotional, spiritual, and physical support at an intensely personal and crucial time. They assist people in finding meaning, creating a legacy project, and planning for how the last days will unfold. Doulas also guide and support loved ones through the last days of life and ease the suffering of grief in its early stages".
Death is a situation that no one can completely prepare for. Additionally, many people don't have much experience with people close to them dying. Because of this, when it comes to the time to deal with dying there are a lot of questions and uncertainty. There are many aspects to end of life care; another part, of equal or greater importance at the end of their life, is the psychological aspects, including the management of close relationships. A doula's support can relieve stress and burdensome tasks from the family in order to provide care for the individual going through the dying process but also gives the individual psychological and emotional support in the process.
Although the specific responsibilities of a death or end of life doula vary from certification program to program, there are certain parallels through each. The services provided by a death or end of life doula can generally be broken down into two categories.
• Providing the family with information about a broad spectrum of end-of-life choices, including home funerals and natural burials
• Providing the family with information about advance directives and other forms, especially those needed for home funerals
• Providing families from culturally diverse communities with the same information as above, which helps avoid a gap in care
• Building a relationship with the client and advocating for their needs and wishes
• Providing spiritual and emotional support for someone who is terminally ill and their family
• Helping the family in administering a person's final wishes.
• Providing a relaxing environment according to a person's likes, wishes and needs.
• Serving as a shoulder to cry on, an ear that listens and devoted time to exploring each family individuals fears, questions and concerns regarding life and death.