We’ve all heard of Midwives and Birth Doulas, but did you know that there is also End Of Life Doulas?
They are becoming more and more popular, and with the rising cost of Hospice Care, they are even becoming more affordable, considering the difference in cost and the availability of care. Some assisted living facilities will charge for your loved one to get Hospice Care, along with Hospice charging Medicare for their services. If one has to pay $1,700 a month for Hospice (on top of what insurance pays), then hiring a Death Doula may be more affordable.
A little over a year ago, my good friend Natalie told me about End of Life Doulas. She and I did some research on the topic and decided to take a course. I’ve since learned so much about this profession and would like to share that knowledge with our readers.
The first question I’m sure you’ll have is “what is an End of Life Doula“?
According to Doulagivers, “A Death Doula is a non-medical person trained to care for someone holistically (physically, emotionally and spiritually) at the end of life. Death Doulas are also known around the world as end of life coaches, soul midwives, transition guides. death coaches, doula to the dying, end of life doulas, death midwives, and end of life guides.
“Death Doulas are people who support people in the end of life process, much like a midwife or doula with the birthing process. It is ‘a new non-medical profession’ that recognizes death as a natural, accepted, and honored part of life. One might say that death midwifery is to hospice palliative care as birth midwifery is to obstetrics.
“Death Doulas can:
- Help create positive, empowering end of life plans;
- Provide spiritual care, psychological and social support;
- Suggest ideas for optimal physical comfort;
- Help plan home vigils; and
- Educate patients and families on the new and progressive options of home wakes and natural burials.“
While Doulas aren’t yet covered by insurance, this is expected to change soon. Most Doulas offer packages that the family can custom build, according to their needs. These packages can be altered as things change and more care is needed. The Doula will also follow the family well past the death, helping with grief issues.
“Although hospice is wonderful in the death and dying field, they don’t have the hours and hours and hours that the doulas have to really, deeply, get into this work,” says Janie Rakow, a practicing end-of-life doula for nine years and president of the International End of Life Doula Association (INELDA).
Because Death Doulas are non-medical, they cannot integrate medical assistive devices or medications (such as pain or nausea meds) that require a prescription, so they often work in concert with Hospice or other medical professionals that can and do manage pain and nausea.
Having the support of a Death Doula sounds amazing. Someone that not only can help the terminally ill come to terms with their illness but also their family and friends. In my own experience, Hospice was wonderful to work with, but they only came by a couple of times a week. They were limited by insurance. Having a doula offers the family more access to care, questions, and support.
This video runs for approximately 5 minutes. Meet the Doulas and see them answer questions.
If you found this blog to be informative or just a relaxing way to waste time, please do me a favor and share it on your Facebook page? To share, just click on the Facebook icon located right below this paragraph. Much appreciated!