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Why End of Life Doulas Should be Part of Your Hospice Team

hand-in-hand-1686811_1920End of life doulas and hospice work in tandem to provide the best in care. An End of Life Doula, also known as a death doula or death midwife, can bring comfort and contentment to a dying person’s loved ones, as well as being a steward of peace for the dying. The family and friends of a dying person are often paralyzed by emotion, fear, and anxiety about what is happening to the person they love. An End of Life Doula can strip away those negative thoughts with the quiet calm that comes from viewing death as a natural part of life; attending to the dying with respect and dignity – often the opposite of the chaotic medical intervention that has become our modern day model.

For many decades, our end of life options were limited, not spoken of, or directed only by medical professionals inside of hospitals. Today we understand that being at home when we pass is not only possible, but is the preference of 70% of people polled by CNN indicating how they would like to die – “at home surrounded by loved ones.” According to the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, more than 80 percent of patients with chronic diseases say they want to avoid hospitalization and intensive care when they are dying. In a home environment, loved ones are in a familiar place, able to spend the amount of time they wish with the person they care about, free from the intrusions necessary in a busy hospital. An End of Life Doula is there for the dying, and yet, provides essential knowledge, information, and clarity to all those affected.

Think of End of Life Doulas as guides to help us wade through administrative hurdles as well. There is a lot of paperwork and planning to be done, and trying to navigate these things when one is terminal, or for the bereaved can be daunting and rushed. It is far more likely that decisions made not during times of crisis will be the right ones.

End of Life Doulas are an essential part of any hospice team. For more information please reach out to Patti Urban to schedule a comprehensive, detail drive meeting.

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