For info: 203-689-7004


Advance Care Planning Services

Designed for those who are well but want to get a handle on their affairs and make sure all is in order in all aspects of their lives.

“Seriously, how long do you want your Facebook page to keep reminding your friends of your birthday after you have died?” …Patti

Your Advance Care Planning Consultant is specifically trained to help guide you through all aspects of life and end of life care plans. Advance Directives, also known as living wills and healthcare proxies, are the BEST gifts you can ever give to your family and loved ones.

What is Advance Care Planning?

Simply put, Advance Care Planning is the art of making decisions about the kind of care you would want to receive if you become unable to speak for yourself.  These are your decisions to make, regardless of what you choose for your care, and the decisions based on your personal values, preferences, and discussions with your loved ones.

Our services include one-on-one personal consultation to review existing documents, conduct a home assessment, explain advance directives and make sure you understand each item (including Appointment of Health Care Representative, Living Will or Health Care Instructions, DNR, Designation of a Conservator, MOLST/POLST, and The Five Wishes Form, which lays out your wishes in a holistic and easy to comprehend manner), assists with facilitating family meetings—either for yourself or your parents’ care. Utilizing an extensive checklist, you will be guided in the preparation of forms and on any next steps in your life planning initiative. You will walk away with your advance directives in place.

If you choose to continue with your life care planning based on the results of the checklist completed in the initial meeting, with our guidance, you will decide which items to work through and a timeline to finish them. Some examples of items are: (1) organizing life documents such as wills and trusts, health care directives, investment and retirement plans, insurance, and birth and marital documents; (2) planning for the future such as choosing home care/hospice agencies, rehab centers, hospitals of choice, and general healthcare choices; (3) understanding the costs involved in eldercare and what is covered by Medicare/Medicaid and what is not and learning what financial options you can utilize; (4) gathering all bank accounts, websites, passwords, and user ids; and (5) making advanced arrangements for funerals and memorials. If you choose to age in place in your own home, we can guide you in making any changes now to your home so that you remain comfortable.

End of Life Doula Services

Designed for those who have been diagnosed with a life limiting illness.

In addition to the Advance Care Planning, we also offer the following End of Life Doula Services throughout the three phases of end of life:

Phase 1: Shock
Upon diagnosis, you most likely are in shock. Our certified End of Life Doulas will assist you in getting back into control. We will accompany you on visits to your doctor to act as your witness, to observe, take notes, evaluate and analyze the information provided and help you make sense of what is happening. We will be with you during your first discussion of options with your doctor. Sit back, relax and know someone has your back.

Features available in the Phase 1 Session: (1) gather info on diagnosis and discuss treatment and pain control options; (2) accompany you on visits to see your doctor; (3) facilitate family meetings; and (4) wrap up meeting, determine next steps.

Benefits include an advocate who: (1) takes notes, listens, gathers information, and puts it in writing so you can understand it and open up a conversation with family; (2) creates channels of communication, a strong supportive presence, and looks for immediate issues to be addressed; (3) identifies safety plan for pain and exhaustion; and (4) assists you and your family with any and all feelings of denial, anger, withdrawal, and depression, and we help you all get through it with guidance and support.

Phase 2: Stabilization
At this point, you have decided on what treatments you need, where you are in life, and what makes the most sense. Our doulas work with extended family members, immediate family members, and you to help lower the stress levels, keep pain at bay so you can continue with as normal a life as possible. This is where the work gets done, by being a support system and helping you make decisions on how you want to live your life, time for family gathering, making memories together, helping you focus on living and living the best way possible.

This is also where we educate you on the natural order of the dying process and what the disease looks like, explain things that may happen, what you want to make happen, who you want with you a different stages. We help you have those difficult conversations with family and make decisions that will give you peace of mind. We assist you with interviewing home health agencies, rehab centers, home care and hospice agencies, determine where you want to go when the time comes. Many people decide they want to die at home. We can make that happen.

We also conduct a life review. We start from your beginning and work our way up to the present. We slow you down in order to realize your life’s work and help you decide if you want to reconnect or make amends with those that are not currently in your life. We assist you with planning funerals, memorial services, writing letters to children, and any other memories you want to have. We help you regain control and take care of any particular need within your family.

Features available in the Phase 2 Session: (1) Life review and assistance with dealing with unresolved issues, personal work; (2) Remembrances and discussion of life history including documenting for you using photos, videos, books, and photo albums; (3) Final Arrangements including discussion of option, funeral, memorial services, obituaries, eulogies, and who is involved; (4) End of Life Care Planning finalizing caregivers, hospice services, pain management; and family meeting wrap up.

Benefits include a trained and experienced doula who guides and educates you and your family in a safe and non-threatening way. We teach you skills on how to grieve and ways to honor you. All matters that can be done in advance are completed in this phase.  We make sure that all decisions are thought out and not rushed. We help give you peace of mind.

Phase 3: Transition
This is the critical phase. We help identify the final stage of life and educate you and your family on what that means. Hospice has begun services with the understanding that hospice manages the care but the family provides the care. Understanding that the doula is not a caregiver, but rather a coach and teacher, we teach your family how to work with hospice and home care providers to make sure you get all the services you need.

Features available in the Phase 3 Session: (1) Monitors you in the active dying phase; (2) makes suggestions to your family when you may need more medication and when to call the hospice nurse; (3) sets a sacred space for you and your family by creating a safe space with aromatherapy, essential oils, music, massage, and knowing what soothes you; (4) helps make everyone feel more comfortable and make sure family members are eating, drinking enough water, and resting; (5) makes sure there is dignity and integrity throughout the process; and (6) provides round-the-clock support if needed.

Benefits include a calm and peaceful environment and round-the-clock support.

What’s the Difference Between Hospice, Home Care, and End of Life Doula?

  • Hospice manages the medical care, performs clinical tasks, and dispenses medications.  Hospice also trains the family on caring for their loved one.
  • Family or Home Care Agency Aides perform the direct hands-on care (e.g. bathing, toileting, feeding, positioning, med reminders, etc.).
  • End of Life Doulas are specially trained and certified non-medical health care professionals.  They are trained in all three phases of end of life care.  Based on extensive training, doulas offer suggestions for comfort to you and your family.  They provide support during all phases of care.  They are not home health aides; rather, they are professionals who guide you and your family through the often times stressful journey.  All our End of Life Doulas are certified through Doulagivers.

Initial Consultation (up to 60 minutes)

Our initial consultation takes place at your home or another location.  This is where we determine if we can assist you and your family, whether you are comfortable with this type of care and service, and how best to move forward.  We understand that this is a very emotional time and our goal is to hold space for you, not make decisions, but rather gently offer suggestions and education.  To schedule an Initial Consultation, visit us HERE.