Why Hire a Doula?
The end-of-life journey in America today often leaves people overwhelmed and underserved. But what if you had a guide to journey alongside you and your loved ones as you make decisions about how your dying process will unfold? A guide to serve you as you say farewell?
The word doula literally means ‘women who serve’ (translated from Greek) and doulas have been serving their communities in birth and death for centuries. Doulas provide non-medical, holistic (whole person) care to the dying client and their loved ones, as well as education and guidance on end-of-life issues.
All professional doulas are trained according to six guiding principles of the doula model of care. End-of-life doulas provide:
The 6 Guiding Principals of Doula Care
(1) non-medical support,
(2) non-judgmental support,
(3) family-centered approach,
(4) holistic care,
(5) empowerment and
(6) integrated collaboration with the health care team.
How I serve as a Doula?
As an International End-of-Life Association (INELDA) trained doula and a member of the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance (NEDA), I take pride in the ways I support my clients and their loved ones. Doula’s can vary as much as their clients. Here are the ways I serve my clients:
My greatest gift is presence. I am a good listener, a calming influence, a witness to your journey, a nurturing companion, and an organized and proficient troubleshooter.
Second, I am excellent at providing emotional support. Dying is often an isolating experience and I am here to stand by your side every step of the way.
Third, I am a perpetual student and as such, I gather and share evidence-based, non-biased research to help educate you on end-of-life issues as they arise. I believe information is power and in this way, I help empower you to advocate for your best care.
Fourth, I am experienced in end-of-life care and can offer proactive guidance to help you anticipate your needs and make a plan.
Fifth, I am an active and engaged member of a larger network of death community professionals and can help with referrals and resources to increase your access to all available tools in current end-of-life care.
Sixth, I have been trained in hands-on techniques to provide physical support and comfort and am comfortable utilizing the healing power of touch, when appropriate.
Last, as a mother of three, I’m an expert in logistical support and am happy to provide another layer of help in household tasks, care management planning, running errands, and transportation to medical appointments as needed.
These skills are perfectly suited to holding space for those on their end-of-life journey. In America today, we view death and dying as a medical failure. But our ancestors saw the sacred rituals and rites of passage that the dying process unveiled. My work as a doula is to serve as your guide through these sacred rituals and rites of passage, lending more meaning to the end of your life. We deserve to die just as well as we lived, if not better. Let me help you actualize your best vision for how you wish to live through your end-of-life stage.