What End of Life Doula Can and Cannot do for you
Please take a minute to learn about what we can offer you.
If you don't find an answer to your question, please let us know.
(All Doula Services Currently Offered Virtually)
End of Life Benefits to the Patient
1. Provide a companionship presence. Emotional support and interaction.
2. Early Intervention - We can be your eyes and ears.
3. Increased sense of autonomy.
4. Better coping skills and abilities to make family peace where needed.
5. Longer and more frequent visits as needed.
6. Attending medical visits as needed, documenting summary of visits.
7. Make sure your Advance Directives and End of Life Wishes are complete.
6. Assistance making memories, legacy projects with photos, life reviews.
7. Holding space, instilling a sense of purpose for both patient and family.
8. Help in preparing the Sacred space with sounds, smells, visual and touch.
End of Life Benefits to the Family
1. Continuous guidance and support with no time restraints when necessary.
2. Education on the Processes with better understanding of signs and symptoms on the natural end of life process.
3. Respite care given - Encouragement for family to replenish and renew.
4. Reinforce family training, review hospice care and instructions, helping you to understand what is going on. A compassionate presence for the family.
5. Assist in making memories, funeral arrangements, obituaries and memorials.
6. Assist in locating and referring bereavement resources.
7. Coordination of all services needed, what you need most during this time. Contacting services and implementing them when needed.
An End of Life Doula can be there for you as much or as little as needed. Due to State Regulations, your other caregivers cannot be there for all of the pieces that need attending to. We can fill in the gap. We are an adjunct to the rest of your support. Stress levels come down when a Doula is in the house. A loving presence and anchor for your family to count on during difficult moments.
End of Life Doula Benefits to the Hospice Team
Your Hospice team is an absolute necessity. They are a wonderful team consisting of a Nurse, Social Worker, Aid, Volunteer and Chaplin. We are an integral part of your main medical care team. A Doula works the in between. We support and care in the last phases of life, how and when you need us. We are your Liaison. We fill an important need. We can give you time and presence. We attend to the emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of your daily being. We provide additional support for both the family and patient with no time limitations or restrictions when needed. We will see progression as it occurs and contact anyone you may need on your medical team to provide the comfort needed. Everyone's role is unique during this time and the goal for everyone is to help make this time as comfortable and peaceful as possible.
What an End of Life Doula cannot do for you
1. We do not play a medical role. We do work in concert with Doctors and Nurses and other healthcare officials. We do not replace them. We all aim to provide practical and emotional support at the End of Life.
2. We are not a Nurse. We do not administer medicine or provide medical care.
3. We are not an Aide. We do not bathe or wash. Of course we assist if needed.
4. We are not priests, We are not Attorney's. We are here to help you enter a sacred space to allow for a peaceful transition.
"I have a big family, why would I need a Doula?"
Reasons will vary. Families are afraid during the end of a loved one's life. There is an over flow of fear and anxiety going on, and rightfully so. This is a frightening time. East End Doula Care helps to make this process be more meaningful, warm and loving, without the fear. You are enveloped with an abundance of emotion right now. We don't have the personal emotion that you do, and this enables us to share and guide you each step along the road. This is a tough time for everyone and want to be your personal person to lean on. We provide comfort and a continuity of presence that families need when losing someone they love. As a trusted guide, you can depend on us to facilitate and be a helping hand during the time when you need it most.
"How were you trained and what has led you to do this work?"
Life is funny in that everything happens exactly the way it should. My puzzle pieces came together when I had a calling to steer away from the corporate world and indulge my everything in helping others, giving of myself and guiding people through the most important milestone in life, leaving this earth. When a loved one passes, it leaves our world in disarray. People leave the world in one of two ways, cold and uncompleted or warm and filled with closure for all. I wanted to bridge this gap. I researched and found my place with Suzanne O'brian, of Doulagivers based in New York City. Her certification courses alongside my hospice volunteer efforts have brought me to where I am today. You can read more about me in the "About Me" tab above.
"What is the fee for and End of Life Doula?"
Each situation varies. East End Doula Care is an independent service and we offer you different packages. We are not covered by insurance at this time, we operate on a private pay scale. Depending on your wants and needs, we may visit you one day a week for a few hours, to many more hours over the course of the week. As you will see in the individual "SERVICES" tab above, there are several packages by the day and by the month with a savings offered. This will be clear when we meet and assess what you need at the time. We are your "go to" and if you need additional time with us, we will be there for you.
All packages are paid in advance. The reason being, we have many clients who value our time, our commitment to them as well as loyalty and devotion. We clear the schedule for you and make your time our number one priority. Should you decide for some reason not need us that day, it would be unfortunate that we couldn't be of assistance to another who really needed our time as well.
"I have specific Cultural and Spiritual needs, what are your views and can you accommodate mine?"
Absolutely! That's what makes our world a beautiful one. We all have different beliefs both spiritually and culturally. We believe this is what makes the world go around. To live and learn about different beliefs and cultures educates and opens our minds to all possibilities. If we are not well informed in any particular cultural, spiritual need or customs, be assured we will learn about these, either through you or by researching on our own. East End Doula Care prides ourselves in being open to any and all of your requested needs and will help to carry out any traditional practices you may have. We are honored to participate in your own unique journey.
"Are you informed with End of Life Documents?"
Yes, absolutely. Advance Directives, Health Proxy's, Living Wills and more. I have been certified as an "Advanced Directive Consultant" and have the education and knowledge to inform and educate you on the options available during this time. It is very important for all of us to have this paperwork filled out well in advance and I am an advocate in having everyone prepare their wishes over the age of eighteen. I describe in more detail under the "Advance Directive" tab the importance of having these documents prepared and on hand. Please review this and let us know if you have questions. This is one of the greatest gifts you can give your family. We incorporate the personalized "FIVE WISHES" plan, a must have for all.
"Do you have any preference regarding Disposition, Ceremonies, Funerals, Cremations etc.".
There are many options available for you. My preference does not come into play. I strive to keep you informed with all of the options that are available. This is your decision. We can review these more during our time spent together. Ex: There are Green Burials and Home Funerals that are now becoming a mainstream. If this feels right for you, we can review and make decisions based on your own wishes.
"What limits do you place on your support in terms of time, activities and tasks?"
The reason for East End Doula Care is to be of service during this sensitive time. People need undivided and extra attention, both the patient and their family. In regards to support, this is why we are here. You have unlimited unending support, depending on your need. Regarding tasks and activities, these are for you to decide. We are open minded in that we are there for what you need and when you need it. We can sit on the floor and build a Lincoln Log Dollhouse, play your favorite video game or clean out the closet that's been haunting you for a lifetime. Less is more, a good motto to live by. In the " End of Life Doula" Tab above, there are activities and ideas we can work on to fill your time. The possibilities are endless.
"How do you spend time with a dying client?"
We say this in simple terms. We all come in with different minds, shapes and personalities. This question will be changing for every client almost daily. For one client we may be reading a classic novel, this is what they love most in the world. Another may want the NY Times read cover to cover. We play their favorite music, watch Rambo movies or just listen to their stories. Whatever is in their particular time line, we can make happen. Just doing the things they love most brings peace and comfort, our goal. Some need to make amends near the end, some haven't completed their bucket list and still want to check off that last box. As long as it's safe, we are there to do just that.
"How and when do we begin? What are the steps for our working together?"
Great question! Things are stressful now, we try to un-stress as much as possible. This is a scary time, judgement is clouded and emotions run high. Fear of the unknown. Our work is all about being present when you need someone the most. Not all family and friends can be on point and focused enough to be up to the task. If we can help with the ease of passage from this world into the next, we've done exactly what we came to do. Baby Boomers have now entered retirement. There is a fresh outlook on what it means to grow old, brave an illness and how we can plan our own passing. There is a growing recognition that hospice and palliative care can't always fill in the gaps to completion and closure. The earlier you call in East End Doula Care the better. This will give us the time to get to know you and develop trust. In our consultation, we assess your thoughts and go over ideas on how you'd like your last chapter to play. Then we go to work. We work hard to ensure you to spend quality time doing everything you really want to do. We do everything in our power to put a smile on your face, this time is for you. Give us a call and a chance to help you move with the peace, grace and the dignity you so deserve.