November 18-20, 2016, in collaboration with dear friend, published author and birth doula instructor Patty Brennan. To learn more and register, please go here.
Day 1: Supporting the Dying Person and The Family – The Doula Model of Care
- What is a “good death”?
- Exploring the dying process
- The needs of the dying and the family
- Biopsychosocial-spiritual-cultural aspects
- Introducing the doula model of care
- Accompanying the dying (holding vigil, creating a peaceful atmosphere)
- Facing fears and grief
- Hospice and Palliative Care
Day 2: Essential Skills for End-of-Life Caregivers
- Scope of practice
- Active listening and communication
- Family needs assessment
- Hands-on comfort measures & support
- Self-care for the caregiver(s)
- Networking and referrals
- EOL Doula practice considerations
Day 3: Natural After Death Care Workshop ~ Home Funeral and Green Burial
Day 3 can be taken alone or in conjunction with Days 1 and 2.
- Current funeral practices in the U.S.
- How to care for the body at home after death
- Creating sacred space and funeral ceremony or ritual
- Legal and cost considerations
- How to locate and work with a funeral director
- Special circumstances
- Green Burial (What is it and where is it available?)
- The importance of planning ahead
- How to form a circle of support
What is an End-of-Life Doula?
An end-of-life doula accompanies the dying person and their loved ones through the dying year. S/he provides support, resources, education and friendship for those who accept and embrace dying as a period of life, not just an abrupt ending. This period of life may last a year or a day. It brings challenges and joys, sorrows and opportunity. The end-of-life doula adds a layer of support for both the dying person and their family to help them live life to the fullest.
End-of-life doulas enhance and empower, rather than usurp the role of friends, family, medical team and spiritual care providers. As more and more of us live longer and face chronic and life-limiting illness, the period of dying has extended from a few days or weeks to months or years. Medical care focuses solely on cure and treatment. Patients often feel adrift among medical choices while grasping for ways to live with illness in full awareness that death will come. Life choices include acceptance, growth and sharing gifts of love and preparation.
There is much meaning to be found during the “dying year” that is profound and life affirming. It is a time of opportunity and growth to be embraced, not shunned. The end-of-life doula guides and accompanies the dying person and their family as they explore this territory and live to the fullest during this transition time.