End of life support and advocacy within Ontario.
What is a Death Doula and how can they help?
My name is Alexandra Palmer it would be my honor to assist you in your death care. Please contact me with any questions you may have.
End-of-life doulas empower, educate and encourage people and their families to be involved in making decisions. Like a birth doula supports women during the labor process, a death doula supports a person during the dying process. This support is specific to that person’s needs, beliefs, and desires. Death doulas can be hired by patients or family members when a terminal diagnosis is given and stay with that person and their family through their death and beyond. They can also support people in making proactive plans for death before any deterioration in health occurs.
There’s a gap in what hospice can offer; people need emotional support, they need spiritual support, they need guidance to what the end looks like. Doulas have more time to spend with clients than hospice does and aren’t bound by regulations when it comes to payment.
Doulas also offer support to family members of the dying, such as explaining the signs of death, helping prepare them emotionally and discussing burial options. We also work on creating personal rituals to participate in during the process of dying and for the family after death has occured. This also includes any legacy projects art, albums etc. as well as writing letters to be read after the person dies.
Before a person becomes unable to speak and make decisions, we work with them to figure out every detail of what they would consider their ideal death, down to what they want to listen to at the end of their life. I work with the client to create the space they feel would be most helpful for them at the end of life.
We share resources for inexpensive burial options, suggest ways on how to negotiate with health care providers and for understanding end-of-life care options such as hospice and palliative care. Doulas also help clients with their will and other advanced directives so that those wishes are clear and communicated before death. We can assist in setting in place what is needed to have a home funeral and explore options for the body after death.
When people are nearing the end of their lives, a doula can visit and sit vigil with them as they are dying. Supporting the person and their family.
Death doulas don’t provide medical services.