Here are a few of the most common questions I receive around End of Life Doula

What is an EOL doula?
An EOL Doula is a non-medical professional who is specially trained to holistically care for people during their final stage of life. The care encompasses the whole person including their physical, emotional and spiritual needs, and is designed after the birth doula model. Birth doulas help people enter the world and EOL doulas help people leave this world.

The EOLD believes that dying is a natural part of life, and the ultimate goal is to honor the wishes of the dying person, while supporting the needs of the family.

What is an EOL Doula trained to do?
EOLDs are trained to develop an EOL Plan based on their clients’ needs and wishes. They understand that death is a natural part of life as they support their client, almost like a tour guide, through their end of life journey.

Doulas assist with implementing the EOL plan by advocating for their client. If at any point, there is a deviation from the EOL plan, not requested by the client, the doula knows how to redirect family and medical personnel to the wishes of the client.

Doulas educate clients and families on the signs and symptoms of the EOL process. Families and clients become familiar with the dying process and are able to understand and prepare for what is happening to them. They find comfort in what they understand, instead of fearing the unknown. Doulas also provide suggestions for alternative and holistic, pain control of symptoms.

Doulas support end of life vigils and help families explore new ideas and options for home wakes and natural burials.

What is the difference between hospice and EOL Doulas?
An EOL doula does not provide medical care, where hospices do provide medical care.  Hospices are regulated by the Federal government and have specific rules and requirements.

Paperwork is a crucial component of hospice care and takes up a lot of the caregiver’s time.

An EOL doula can be exactly where the client needs them to be. EOL doulas go beyond hospice.

What do you mean by a good death?
A good death is dying on your own terms, pain-free, and with dignity. It is an end of life experience that is controlled by the client’s wishes.

It is a death that is peaceful, calm, and free of any regrets. It is a death that family and friends, though saddened by the loss, have beautiful memories.

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