What is an End-of-Life doula?
You don’t need to step out of this wonderful world by yourself and you will find that support through my End-of-Life doula service.
An End-of-Life Doula is someone who undergoes special training to assist the dying and their family members or friends. They offer emotional, social, spiritual and practical support to those planning for or nearing this journey. In addition, they offer support, companionship, vigils, celebrations and non-medical assistance to the dying and their families.
They will advocate for you with representatives and other hospital personnel, aged care or hospice homes and funeral homes.
They may also stay to assist through the funeral if you wish, with the option of follow-up visits to family members in the weeks and months after the death to talk about their experience.
As a trained End Of Life Doula, Jenny will be there to support you (the traveller) or you, your family and friends, on your end-of-life journey. She will be there to assist with end-of-life education, and no matter what age, she can help prepare for death, die with dignity, and die the way you want to.
You will be empowered to make choices that attune to your values and beliefs in a safe and supportive environment not only for yourself but for your loved ones as well.
Jenny’s interest in this work started as a young woman when her grandfather-in-law died alone. She learned first-hand that no one needs to die alone. Instead, when both of her parents were on their end-of-life journey, they were encouraged to embrace life’s heartbreaking milestones and say goodbye to youth, good health, independence, mobility, life and loved ones.
I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
of happy times and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun,
of happy memories that I leave when life is done.
What practical help does an End-of-Life doula
provide to the traveller?
A doula will hold space for the ‘traveller’ by sitting quietly with them, talking or reading to them, playing their favourite music and other acts of companionship.
You will be in charge of your final days.
The doula will help you put together a customised End-of-Life plan that might include things like:
- Would you prefer to be sitting outside in the sunshine or inside?
- Do you want fresh flowers each week?
- Do you want plants, candles or oils burning in the room?
- Will your pets be present?
- What style of music do you want surrounding you?
- What type of photos do you wish to look at; your loved ones or only photos of your pets?
Other more essential tasks can be facilitated by your doula too:
- Make sure your legal documents and advanced care directives are in order and up to date.
- Liaise with bodies that deal with your personal business or medical requirements.
- Inform what you want to be performed at your funeral – religious or secular?
- How do you want your funeral to proceed? Who gives the eulogy? Do you forego flowers for charitable donations?
- De-clutter your home and legacy support around treasured memories and possessions that will go to your loved ones.
The End-of-Life Journey Party
Celebrate your life with your loved ones before you go
People can feel isolated knowing death is approaching, and a life celebration can help with the emotions at this inevitable part of life.
It’s your life’s celebration, so you get to choose the style of party, sometimes known as a living wake or living funeral.
The goal of living wakes is to celebrate life, rather than mourning death; celebrate your life while you’re still around to bask in the warmth of the camaraderie and love of family and friends.
During a living wake, families and friends will share stories and memories of the person nearing death. This ceremony is often a very happy event where there can be closure. The soon-to-be-deceased person often speaks about their life and who has affected it.
Please get in touch with Jenny directly for more information or take a look at the FAQs section below.
Frequently asked questions about
Jenny’s End-of-Life services
What is a doula?
The word “doula” is a Greek word meaning a non-medical person who gives physical, emotional, and spiritual support to an elderly person or someone with a life-threatening illness.
How are doula services different from hospice services?
Hospice manages the medical care. A doula is a non-medical person.
What is an Advanced Care Plan?
An Advanced Care Plan is a document that has the kind of health and medical care you would consent to, or refuse, in a crisis.
Advanced care planning increases the likelihood that your health care wishes will be fulfilled. Family members also benefit, feeling less anxious about their decisions on behalf of their loved ones, which leads to greater peace of mind.
Your advance care plan is used when you can no longer make your own health care decisions. At that point, your substitute decision-maker will review your wishes, values, and beliefs before making health care decisions on your behalf.
How will I know when to call you?
The sooner you plan the end of life journey, the better. We can help in many meaningful ways from a diagnosis stage right on to after death.
Will I still require hospice care?
Yes. Hospice offers many wonderful services. It is important to ask for help during this end of life journey. We will work right alongside your hospice provider.
Will you provide nursing or medical services?
No. We will not be able to provide these services. We will, however, be able to educate you on what services are available.
So then, what does a Doula do?
Doulas are specially trained non-medical health care professionals. They are specifically trained in end of life care. The doulas offer suggestions for comfort to the patient and family. They provide support to the family and patient during all phases of care in what can be a very distressing time.
Can I leave my loved one in your care?
Yes. We will discuss your families level of support requirements in a service agreement.
What are some examples of services?
Assist client with the preparation of key documents including advance directives, wills, and end of life planning; create remembrances for family and friends; work with the patient on writing obituaries, eulogies, and making funeral arrangements; educate both patient and family on end of life options.
Decluttering and or cleaning a home to be ready for sale so that a person can move to a retirement or nursing facility or after death. This can be incredibly stressful for someone close to the situation.
Want to attend your funeral?
You can. The End-Of-Life Journey Party allows clients to celebrate their life with important people through a completely tailored celebration of life event held before the end of life.