Q: What is a Doula and what do they do?
A: An End of Life Doula is a non-medical person trained to care for someone holistically (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) at the end of life. End of Life Doulas are also known around the world as: end of life coaches, soul midwives, transition guides, death coaches, death doulas, doula to the dying, end of life doulas, death midwives, thanadoula, and end of life guides.
Q: When should I call for End of Life Doula?
A: Sooner rather than later! One of the most critical mistakes in having a positive passing, is asking for end of life support too late. People are living with chronic health conditions that require some form of assistance with daily living for 5, 10, 15 years of their life. Allowing Elder Care Doulas to help families at this time is invaluable. It also allows us to give the support needed now and see when someone is heading into an end of life phase. By doing this, we can have all the anticipated needs and support in place well in advance. This dramatically reduces the inevitable stress and creates the most positive experience possible.
Q: If I hire an End of Life Doula will I still need Hospice care?
A: Yes. Remember, Hospice manages the care and the loved ones do the caring. The Hospice Nurse teaches the family how to care for their loved one. Hospice, unfortunately, has a very limited time that they can be at the bedside of the dying. This is where Doulas fill that need. Hospice also supplies a muti-disciplined team of support and resources, including medication and equipment. The End of Life Doula will “guide” the family based on the Doulas extensive end of life education. The Doula will also assess the education and discuss what the loved ones understand on how to care for their loved one- a process that
will change as the patient’s conditions change. The Doula may advise families to call Hospice to go over information regarding medication, administration and/or hands on care.