Comings and Goings
Doulas: Caregivers to those on the threshold points of our earthly existence
Lori K. Goldwyn
Serving the East Bay and Marin County
What is an End-of-Life Doula?
- Modeled after the way birth doulas serve women and their partners before and during labor
- Uphold the belief that death and birth are natural and sacred parts of life and that everyone needs appropriate support during the process
- Bring greater comfort and deeper meaning to the dying and their loved ones by augmenting Hospice/End of Life care with additional time and services
- Utilizing deep listening, we help the patient design a care plan and a vigil plan based on their values, needs and wishes, as well as explore the meaning of their life and create a Legacy Project
- Develop a personalized guided visualization for symptom management and increased comfort; also, using somatic-energy work and light touch (e.g. Reiki) as requested
- The support of an EOL Doula often appeals to those who have experienced a loved one’s death and wished it could have been different. Having a trusting, ongoing relationship with a neutral, caring and knowledgeable person can help ease the distress and anxiety that often follow a terminal diagnosis
Why Hire an End-of-Life Doula?
- An End of Life Doula guides a dying person through their final days, creating a comforting space wherever they are, whether at home, in the hospital, facility, etc.
- I provide information about the natural dying process and help alleviate the fear, anxiety and depression that is often present during the dying process by offering comfort and support.
- People have the right to decide on every aspect of their care at the end of their lives, and End of Life Doulas can help with decision-making based on the patient’s values. Doulas “hold the space” to approach death as an emotional and spiritual—not a medical—experience for both the patient and family.
- An End Of Life Doula is especially helpful for patients who have no other family or friends nearby so they are accompanied during their dying time.
- I can provide primary or supportive assistance when Medical Aid in Dying/Death with Dignity has been arranged
- Hospice services typically focus mainly on managing symptoms and providing pain management. Doulas work in conjunction with Hospice, supplementing their service delivery so that a patient who is on Hospice care also benefits from receiving the additional services.