Although many people fear dying alone, passing away by yourself is different than being lonely while you do so. Regardless, many people choose to take advantage of a death doula to help ease them through the process. This is a great way to help cope with death, but many people aren’t sure whether or not they should consider one.
We’ve put together a brief guide that can help you make your decision. Let’s dive in.
What Is a Death Dula?
Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with this term, as it’s not something everyone has heard of. A death doula is a person who provides people with support at the end of their lives.
They often serve those who would otherwise have nobody to care for them as they pass. The support they offer is meant to satisfy the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of the person who is at the end of their life.
Otherwise, people would be left to grapple with these concerns on their own. Although it is not impossible to do so, it’s something that many people find difficult. This is especially true if there are other complications at work, such as medical conditions.
What They Do
A death doula has a handful of responsibilities. In general, their duties can be divided into three primary phases: planning, dying, and grieving.
During the planning phase, the doula can help someone come to terms with the fact that they are at the end of their life. They can also help them plan for their death. For example, someone may wish to pass away in a certain room of their home.
They might also need assistance determining what possessions they wish to leave to specific people. They may even need help figuring out how to communicate their feelings to others. This phase aims to keep the passing individual calm and collected as their life comes to an end.
During the dying phase, the doula can ensure that the person’s dying wishes will be taken care of exactly how they intended. They can also make sure they are as comfortable as possible. In many cases, death is not an abrupt or painful experience.
It’s something that slowly happens over a period of minutes or hours during their final moments. Having a doula by one’s side can help make this experience much more bearable.
Finally, the grieving stage involves the doula helping family members process the grief they feel. For the people left behind, having a prominent figure in their lives pass away can be a traumatic and even unbearable experience. The doula can also handle logistical needs, such as helping determine how finances should be allocated.
Finding a Death Doula
Not all doulas are created equal. It’s in your best interest to do your due diligence when researching. Check their past reputation to see how experienced they are and what other clients have had to say.
For example, the families they work with should give overwhelmingly positive feedback. When it comes to pricing, the amount you pay will depend on numerous factors. If you only need a few services, you will end up paying less.
Keep in mind that insurance policies currently do not cover hiring death doulas. So, you’ll need to pay entirely out of pocket.
As you might guess, it’s imperative that you find a doula you are comfortable communicating with. The last thing you want is to spend your final moments with someone who doesn’t understand your situation.
You should have a strong connection with them before you hire them, so don’t be afraid to shop around and interview potential candidates.
Not everyone needs this type of service. In fact, many people are able to pass comfortably on their own or surrounded by their loved ones.
It’s those who have trouble coming to terms with their own death that can benefit most from hiring a professional. Regardless, there aren’t limitations on candidacy — anyone can hire a death doula.
Take some time to think about whether this option is right for you. This will allow you to get the most out of the service if you choose to hire one.
Other Services to Consider
During end-of-life care, there are other services you need to consider. A doula can help you organize them.
For instance, palliative care provides medical support for those who are living with chronic illnesses or serious conditions. Without this care in place, the affected individual would likely experience great pain or discomfort.
Similarly, hospice care involves hiring a team of medical providers to maximize comfort at the end of someone’s life. You may or may not need access to these services depending on the situation. If you do, though, it’s best to work with a doula who has the right industry connections.
This will help ensure that you get the best possible care.
Burial and cremation are also important to consider. These often take a large amount of planning, and it’s essential to have your finances properly allocated so that there aren’t any disruptions in the process.
Check these cremation services for more info on why you should consider cremation instead of burial.
Make the Right Choice
At first, deciding if you need a death doula can be an overwhelming responsibility. Once you figure out the fine details, though, you can make the best decision for you and your needs.
Our blog has plenty of other lifestyle articles that can help you overcome challenges in the future. Be sure to check them out today!