An End-of-Life Doula ... is a 'person of service' ...
We are all travelling in the same direction ... toward our end-of-life, however, for many this is a very confronting thought. As a society, we are not very 'death' literate, we tend to avoid talking about death, dying, or even making plans for this inevitable, beautiful transition in life.
Talking about death, making your personal choices known, planning for what you want before, during and after death is very empowering and helps you accept your mortality. Being prepared and having everything in place ... is the secret that allows you a new freedom to get on with living.
What does an End of Life Doula service provide?
Along with community education, this non-medical role cares and supports the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those who are dying and their families.
Getting Organised ...
An EOL Doula assists with
- getting personal affairs in place
- Advance Care Planning to ensure medical staff and your advocates know your wishes and to support future decision making
- open conversations about end-of-life and death
- exploring the range of options available when planning a funeral / celebration of life that is authentic to you
- documenting your wishes and stories
- building community awareness, through open conversations about dying and death, planning for your end-of-life and death, and the diverse range of options available to meet your wishes.
Working Beside You ...
An EOL Doula supports you by
- establishing a calm, caring and compassionate environment for you and your family
- caring for you in your choice of accommodation during the end-of-life stage ie: in the comfort of your home, care facility, hospital, palliative care.
- helping with stress & emotional relief techniques
- 'Being there for you' to listen and talk with open, honest communication
- co-ordinating access to necessary services and resources
- liaising with your medical & care team to help ‘bridge any gaps’
- ensuring continuity of care and quality of life
- encouraging self-efficacy and self-advocacy for you and your family
- ensuring your needs & wishes are fulfilled
- offering compassionate care for you and your family during the end-of-life process
- healing touch and vigil for a peaceful transition.
Saying goodbye ...
An EOL Doula offers
- after death support for families who wish to have time with their loved one at home
- assistance for those who wish to participate in after death body care and preparation
- provision of resources to enable home care for your loved one, prior to the funeral
- help with funeral planning, celebration of life and/or Do It Yourself funeral
- ritual planning for personal and symbolic meaning
- reassurance that your wishes are fulfilled
- reassurance that your family's needs are supported
- compassionate grief support for family members during their time of grief.
What does your end-of-life plan and funeral / celebration of life look like?
There are so many things that you can do to make your celebration of life authentically you. You don't have to follow the traditional way of having a church service, funeral director, expensive coffin etc.
You can personalise your send off within the surrounds that are meaningful to you. If you surf - you can have a beach celebration. Are you a farmer? then you can have your service in your paddock, be taken to your place of rest in your ute. Are you a carpenter? you can make your own coffin. If you don't want a coffin - you can have a shroud. So many choices and with careful planning, to ensure legalities etc are adhered to, a doula can help you and your family make it happen.
Do I need to plan my wishes?
There is no certainty of how young or how old, or when or how we are going to die. And there is no certainty that we will have the capacity to communicate our wishes and desires at the crucial time of needing medical care and at end-of-life. So, when we reach an age where we are responsible for ourselves, it is very important that we have our wishes clearly documented, so that everyone involved in our care team has clear guidance. We need to talk about our plans with our family, or those in the position to make decisions on our behalf, so they know what our wishes are.
Advance Care & Personal Wishes Planning:
Not sure were to start with your Advance Care Plan and end of life wishes?
Safe conversations are a key part of the process and to have someone guide you through the process can make it so much easier.
If you would like some help with your Advance Care Plan or end-of-life planning, please call Marg on 0438 363 525 to make a time for this confidential service.