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A death doula, also referred to as an end-of-life doula, guides a person who is transitioning to death and assists their loved ones, according to the International End of Life Doula Association. “Doula” is a Greek word that reentered the modern vocabulary when non-medical support people began assisting at births. Just as birth is a significant moment in the life of a person and their loved ones, death is also a monumental and transformative event.
Much as birth doulas provide support during birth, death doulas serve the role of non-medical support people during the dying and death process. They can step in and provide care to the person facing the end of their life and their loved ones. A death doula can be a positive addition to the team of caretakers providing support for a dying person.
Support for a Person Who Is Dying
A death doula provides not only physical support but also emotional and spiritual support for a person who is dying. The emotional support offered by death doulas includes the ability to speak about the reality of death and explore conversations about life and legacy.
As a professional support person who has experience with end-of-life transitions, a death doula can guide meaningful conversations to comfort the dying person. A death doula can also provide spiritual comfort by supporting any spiritual practices of the dying person. Physically, the death doula can provide care focusing on the needs of the person who is dying while loved ones cope with their own emotions.
A death doula can assist with creating the physical environment desired by the person who is dying by:
Support for the Loved Ones of a Person Who Is Dying
A death doula can support the loved ones of the person in their care. Before a loved one dies, the experienced and compassionate death doula can help ease the burden on caregivers by providing respite care when caregivers are exhausted. A death doula can guide the family by explaining the dying process and its signs to loved ones. After the death of a loved one, a death doula can continue to provide support and help the loved ones who remain through the early stages of grieving.
Many members of the team provide end-of-life care for a dying person, including loved ones, caregivers, medical personnel, and a Woodbridge probate lawyer. A death doula may be a valuable addition to that team.
Contact Us Today
If you need help assembling a team for end-of-life care for yourself or a loved one or discussing plans for your future, please contact our office for a consultation with our Woodbridge probate lawyers at 703-492-9955.