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What do death doulas do? A comprehensive guide.

Updated: Mar 1

End-of-life doulas (EOL Doulas) offer the dying individual and their family non-medical, non-judgmental, holistic support, companionship, and comfort. In the final months of life, we work with a dying person's family and caregivers to provide emotional, spiritual, and physical support. Practical assistance and instruction may also be part of our care.

End of  Life Doulas assist by aiding their clients in acquiring knowledge and encouraging them to make the best decisions for themselves, doulas promote self-determination in their clients. EOL Doulas collaborate with other caregivers and medical professionals.

End of Life Doulas provide the terminally ill person a chance to reflect on the significance of their life and how it has affected those around them. A Legacy Project based on the dying person's thoughts of what is important and how they want to be remembered is one of the ways EOL Doulas can accompany the dying person. Another option is by assisting them in coming up with a special Vigil (plan) that captures their idea of a good death. Planning the appearance and feel of the dying area, the music or sounds, the readings and rituals, and so much more are all examples of vigils.

What we CANNOT do:

  • Perform clinical responsibilities like checking blood pressure, bandaging wounds, caring for catheters, or administering breathing treatments because I'm not in a position to practice nursing legally.

  • Administer medication of any kind, including oral syringes that have been pre-filled and are on a doctor's order.

  • Make any choices for customers that are related to medicine or not. I'll help gather the knowledge and materials needed to better equip them to make wise selections. The client will be guided and helped to contact the medical staff if they have any queries or require assistance concerning their medical care.

  • Speak with medical personnel or providers on the patient's behalf. I will urge the patient or family caregiver to express thoughts, queries, and concerns to their medical professionals through coaching, counseling, and support.

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