Traditionally, doulas are present at the birth of a child. They work alongside the midwife to provide advice, emotional and spiritual comfort, as well as practical assistance to the mother and to gently lead the newborn into the world. End of Life Doulas offer the same during the process of dying. We believe the way we leave this world is as important as the way we arrive.
North Hawaii Hospice offers a unique End of Life Doula Program. Our End of Life Doulas are specially trained, non-medical volunteers who are a part of the hospice care team. They provide additional support for patients and their families. In addition to the 18-hour Hospice Volunteer Training, our End of Life Doulas have taken the 24-hour Doulagivers: End of Life Doula Training. Doulagivers is an internationally recognized leader in end-of-life trainings and care. The purpose of an End of Life Doula is to protect the sacred space of dying through the gift of intentional presence, to help people feel safe and supported as they make the transition from this life to the next. End of Life Doulas can help the family understand all of the changes that occur at the end of life, which in turn can bring a greater sense of calm.
Services that End of Life Doulas offer:
- Provide companionship for the dying and their loved ones
- Provide assistance in creating a sacred space for the patient
- Be a listening and supportive presence
- Help to plan the last 24-48 hours of loved one’s life
- Sit vigil
- Provide support at time of death
- Offer reminders for loved ones of interventions to help increase patient’s comfort
- Help patient find peace and acceptance
- Explore options of home funeral, natural burial, cremation and green burial
- Help in writing a eulogy and obituary
- Create remembrances by documenting life stories such as a life review, writing cards and letters to loved ones
- Encourage reminiscing and family rituals such as prayer, singing, poetry and reading
“It is the presence of love and gentleness we bring to our mortal journey that matters the most.”