AgeingEnd of LifeIndividual approaches

by Julie Fletcher

May 3, 2021

Doulas are more commonly known to help women during the birthing process, but did you know there are doulas who assist people at the end of life too?

Death doulas or end-of-life doulas can be engaged to help people navigate anything associated with end of life.

Death can be an uncomfortable topic for some but end-of-life doulas can provide emotional, spiritual, and physical support and while they can help the family members as well, their main focus is usually on the client, the person who is dying or has concerns about the end of their life.

What do end-of-life doulas do?

An end-of-life doula’s main job is to offer a safe space for clients to talk about death and to ease them through this transition. This provides family members with a much-needed break as well, especially if the journey has been taxing so far.

But death, while normal, is a very personal and emotional subject for most. There is often fear and anxiety. Dying has often been approached with a solely medical touch and we forget that a humanistic one should be considered as well. And that’s what doulas do.

When the client has overcome the emotional part, doulas help them plan out their deaths down to the fine details if that’s what they want: where they prefer to die, who they want around them, what rituals are performed, what music is played, etc. They can assist with gathering information about wills, advanced care directives and funeral arrangements. They can take photos, help write letters, create videos, or anything else the client may want to leave behind to loved ones.

When the time comes, doulas help their clients to remain calm, and after, help their loved ones to process what has happened.

Benefits of hiring one

Doulas are with their clients until the very end. They do not turn away from the face of suffering. Having that kind of consistent channel for emotional support helps make the transition easier. They actively involve the family members as well (if this is what the client wishes), serving as a bridge between them and the client who may wish to foster one last connection with their loved ones. Doulas also make sure the client’s wishes are fulfilled even if family members disagree, don’t understand, or are the ones who hired them.

Is an end-of-life doula for me?

If you are struggling with a life-limiting or terminal diagnosis and need help with getting matters squared away before the time comes, you may want to consider hiring an end-of-life doula.

If you have known for a long time what you want to happen in the event of your death, and you want to make sure it gets carried out how you want it to where possible, an end-of-life doula can help.

Is there people in your life that you want to comfort during this difficult time? An end-of-life doula can help.

If you need someone to get you through your last days, an end-of-life doula can help.

For more information on our services and how to work with us, visit our website or give us a call.

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