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What is an End-Of-Life Doula
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A End-of-Life (EOL), or Death, Doula is someone who makes themselves available to assist a dying individual and their family before, during, and after a death takes place in order to provide physical, emotional, psychological, and sometimes even spiritual support, if requested. An EOL doula generally assists with a host of different services that can vary depending upon individual circumstances, but they usually seek to provide a holistic, hands-on, non-medical approach to aid the natural process of dying for an individual and their families. While EOL doulas and hospice nurses both provide support to the dying individual and their families, they each play different roles. EOL doulas focus on providing practical and emotional support, while a hospice nurse will provide medical care and emotional support. The intent of a death doula is to help fill the support gap between the family, nurses, doctors, other professionals, and eventually other individuals whose functions begin after death occurs. End-of-Life (EOL) doulas do not provide any medical care and do not give medical advice.

  • For the dying individual: An EOL Doula can provide companionship, respite care, legacy plan development, help getting affairs in order, researching professional guidance, etc. whether in the family's home, hospice, hospital, or some other setting.  Among many things, this may include sitting with the dying person for company; actively listening to his or her comments; conversing and attempting to offer answers/comfort to the individual's questions/concerns/needs; watching television or reading a book aloud; discussing end-of-life wishes; helping the dying individual resolve/find peace about real or imagined wrongs; etc.

  • For the family members: Whether in the family's home, hospice, hospital, or some other setting, a death doula can provide continuity throughout the transition of death process (before and after). This may include performing various basic tasks usually conducted by a home caregiver; staying with the dying individual while family members are away; facilitating supportive communication and/or conversations between all parties; assisting in the creation of meaningful goodbyes during the remaining hours of life; serving as a resource for funeral/interment planning and finding resources, making sure all necessary paperwork is in order; and others.

Reasons to hire a death doula:

  • You don’t have a lot of support, you need additional support, or the support that you have doesn’t agree with your wishes.

  • You don’t want your family to have to deal with the logistical side of death.

  • You want to provide support to your family or primary caregiver as they care for you and after the death transition.

  • Death doulas can hold space for any emotion that you may be feeling; you can scream, cry, or laugh together. 

  • Death doulas can help you create a legacy project to share your life story with your family. 

  • Death doulas can help you create your plan for your vigil or life celebration.

  • Death doulas can help you take back control in what can sometimes be an overwhelming process.

Initial Consultations are Free. Sliding-fee-scale is available upon request.

 See Our Services page.

Please contact us for more Information.

               207-212-3688 or bjc.steppingstones@yahoo.com

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