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Tips from a Death Doula: How is a Death Doula different than Hospice?



how is a death doula different than hospice, bedside, tea

Hospice is called when someone is nearing end of life or has a diagnosis that calls for comfort and care. The patients are given the opportunity to be in their home with the nurses and providers coming to them, rather than going to the different appointments. The focus is creating calm and comfort, rather than trying to “make it better.”


It’s a really difficult decision to make, although an important one.


Hospice relies heavily on volunteers to sit with the patients between nurse visits, family visits, or just to be a companion. This is all very helpful to the family and patient, but these visits from hospice are usually around an hour, once a week. A volunteer might be available to sit vigil during the last hours or to sit with the family during the bereavement time.


It’s all really helpful, but it just doesn’t feel like enough sometimes.


A Death Doula is a hired professional who is not only able to help sit with the patient, but also create legacy plans, facilitate talks about the “untalkable,” or help plan a living memorial service. A Death Doula can also help create a comfortable death nest and be a support to families in remembering their loved ones in ways that is meaningful to all.


But a Death Doula isn’t just doing bedside work. We are also having these conversations beforehand, making advanced directives, having the conversations needed to bring to family, loved ones, or even other professionals like attorneys.


We also aren’t afraid to hear about the hard things.


Hospice and Death Doulas can and do work together. Everyone at the end of life deserves to have a good death experience and we are all there, working together to make that happen. Not only to the person who is dying, but to the family and loved ones around them.


If you’re interested in how I can help during this time, reply to this email or book your session HERE.


If you have any questions about Death Doula work, please submit yours on the Contact Page.

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