The Difference Between Having a Death Doula vs. Not Having One
The Difference Between Having a Death Doula vs. Not Having One

A lot of people hear the term "doula" and immediately think about childbirth and the person that advocates on behalf of the parents of a new life with the medical professionals. The thing is, doulas aren't just there for the beginning of a life - they're there for the end, too. End of life doulas are not medically trained, but they are trained to care for the physically, emotional and spiritual needs of a terminally ill person who needs support and guidance in their current circumstances. It's rare that anyone has heard of a death doula, and the main reason for that comes with the taboo that surrounds death in the first place. Whether you want to call them "soul midwives", "death doulas" or "transition guide", a death doula can play a pivotal role in the last days of a person who is struggling. Our current health systems are not always adept at meeting the needs of those who are dying in our communities. They put in place things like hospice care and palliative care, but these services are stretched very thin, with people unable to get the support that they need in the time when they need it the most. A death doula can make a positive difference to the dying and their family, and the quality of life care that they can give can bring peace in a time of turmoil. Families are choosing to put their trust in those who can fill the missing gaps in the healthcare system as it currently stands. The Benefits Of A Death Doula Before you can make any significant decisions about end of life care, think about how YANAEC can help. Our elder care and end of life care services are there to make you feel at peace, calm and relaxed during a difficult time. Let's take a look at the benefits of hiring YANAEC's services: We will listen to you, advocate for you, be with you and support you through the information that you are digesting at this time. A death doula can help you to come to terms with what is ahead for you and your prognosis, reminding you that your life matters and that you matter. We will get to know you as you are while you are alive, holding your hand and providing a level of comfort that you may not be able to receive from your family who are already grieving for you. We will support the highs and the lows, ebbing the flow of grief and elevating the highs of life while it's being lived. We can advise on how to commemorate a life well lived. Our doulas can lift you up and promote a positive transition during the dying period so that you can relax where you need to and feel at peace as a family unit. The focus is not on the fancy caskets and embalming services, but you and your family as you work through grief. We can guide you through the burial or cremation process, and we can talk you through the process of holding a wake. Dealing With Death A death doula can help you to deal with the realities ahead while talking to the healthcare team at your side about your current care. You may never have heard of a death doula, but our professionals are here and ready to support you as you need them. You deserve a peaceful, meaningful death, and we will aim to make you feel worthy, right until the end. Without a doula, death can be confusing, scary and worrisome for all involved. We want to help you to end the stigma. About Adrian & The Team Adrian Allotey is the owner of You Are Not Alone Elder Care, and after being beside her 106-year-old grandmother as she peacefully passed, Adrian has felt her calling as a death doula. Along with her team, Adrian serves as a non-medical elderly companion who specialises in physical, emotional and spiritual care. We meet our clients on their terms, see them as a whole, and build relationships with them and their loved ones. Call today to find out more.

Family Education and Consultation

Family consultations are an opportunity to explore the client’s needs, family expectations and a starting point to understand and learn about the Aging or Death/Dying process. In addition, we offer such consultations to assist with resolving issues or conflicts within the family regarding the clients care. Having an Aging Life Care Professional facilitate the discussion helps to clarify the objectives, and allows all participants to have a voice in the process. An Aging Life Care Professional consult allows for an unbiased and impartial viewpoint, ensuring the best possible outcome for the client while taking into account each family members point of view. The consultations take place at the home of the client, unless otherwise requested by the family. Meetings can be a one time event or on a recurring basis.

Family Communication at the End of Life

People often feel awkward and ill at ease when faced with the opportunity for communication at the end of life, thus the overall theme for the articles in this special issue is the creation of more awareness and knowledge regarding the depth, breadth, and importance of current research exploring family communication at the end of life. This introductory essay attempts to accomplish the following: (1) discuss the importance of talk regarding death; (2) highlight the formative role of family interactions on the death and dying process; and (3) outline the articles in this special issue. Scholars contributing to this special issue on “Family Communication at the End of Life” have provided evidence that communication is important between and for terminally ill individuals, family members, and healthcare/palliative care specialists. Overall, research exploring communication at the end of life is especially relevant because every person experiences the death and loss of loved ones, and ultimately faces the reality of their own death.

National Hospice & Palliative Care Month November

Raising Awareness of the Benefits of Hospice and Palliative Care HPP Celebrates November’s National Hospice and Palliative Care Month Hospice is not a place but is high-quality care that enables patients and families to focus on living as fully as possible despite a life-limiting illness. Palliative care brings this holistic model of care to people earlier in the course of a serious illness. November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and hospice and palliative care programs across the country are reaching out to help people understand all that hospice and palliative care offer. During the month of November, HPP will join organizations in raising awareness of hospice care and demonstrate its importance. HPP’s resources in hospice and palliative care focus on life-affirmation, and offer support for professionals and families in end-of-life care. Visit the HPP Resource Center to read our Hospice Perspectives Series, where people share their stories of hospice care. While these stories do feature death, they also feature profound hope, compassion, comfort, and joy. They will touch your heart and provide invaluable insight into palliative care and the end of life.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted

What does that mean? This quote is from the famous story, The Lion and the Mouse, wherein a small Mouse, caught by the Lion, is released rather than eaten, as a kindness. Later, the Mouse comes across the Lion, trapped in a net. The Mouse remembers the kindness done for him by the Lion, and chews through the ropes, freeing the Lion, and returning the kindness. The moral of the story is held that there is no one so lowly that they cannot be of some use, and that none should be scorned for their lowly position or life. That, in my opinion, still is true today. While most societies still have some forms of stratification, most people understand that kindness costs themselves little, and can be of great benefit to them when returned. Why is kindness important? In the case of this quote, it is an act of kindness, done to someone who could not possibly ever do a favor for you in return. And the experience, for those who have done it, is rather odd. Often, we do something for someone with the intention of having them do something nice in return. When you do something nice for someone who you could not ever imagine having the ability to help you, the feeling is quite liberating. You aren’t thinking about how much to help, or what to do, weighing it against what they could do in return. You simply do what you can, and walk away. Whether it’s putting enough change in the toll booth for the next few cars, or telling your server at the restaurant that you want to pay for someone else’s bill, it’s simply being kind. Those examples centered around money, but there are plenty of other ways to be kind to others. Almost any volunteer work would fall under this category. You would be helping those least able to help themselves, much less help you. Unless, of course, you consider the warm feeling you get from helping someone else as a form of repayment, or their heartfelt thanks. That’s worth something, but you know what I mean. Where can I apply this in my life? As mentioned in the prior section, there are plenty of ways to be kind to others. And that is something at which, I believe, we can all improve. Can you ever be too kind? In my experience, I would say no. I have tried to do all I can, and could always think of things I could have done, if I’d had more time or energy. But to me, the good feeling you get from doing a selfless act is the best thing about being kind. Even if you don’t see any immediate improvement in your material condition, you feel better inside. And, unless you don’t have your basic needs covered, that’s a great thing to have going for you. Whether it is as simple as holding open a door for someone, or something more involved, like rebuilding a house, you still feel good inside. And if the person you held the door for doesn’t say thanks, and you get mad, does it say more about them, or about you? Perhaps they just forgot. Feel good anyway, don’t let them spoil it. One time, on the way home from a shopping trip, there was a car stalled at an intersection, blocking traffic. I went past and pulled into a parking lot, then ran back and pushed them out of the road. Then I left, never looking back. I imagine they wanted to thank me. But I just let them wonder. The other thing I like about selfless giving is that usually they end up being frustrated. They had something nice done, and they want to do something nice back, but they can’t find you. I always hope that they find someone else to whom they can do a kindness. That way it stretches out far and wide. Think about that for a moment. You do something nice for someone, and they do something for you. It’s over. Two people were helped. End of story. But if you do something for someone else, they will have to find a third person so that they may perform an act of kindness. Then what will that person do? And if any of these people get to liking the feeling of being kind to others, they might actually do it again. Now we’re up to at least four people, and as this continues, more people will do kindnesses to others. It really can spread like wildfire, if you choose to participate. Imagine a world where a chain reaction of kindness was ongoing. Will it be better or worse than where we are today? Can you think of a single good reason not to help someone, some way, today? Even if it’s just a smile or a nod, acknowledging another person is a kindness too often lacking today. And even if you’re never captured in a net, or save a small mouse, you never know when you might need for someone to help you with an act of kindness. And being kind to others always feels good. Give it a try. I dare you. 8)

About You Are Not Alone

About Adrian Allotey, Owner, Certified End-of-Life Doula I am currently living my best life by responding to a calling on my life; service to elders and their loved ones. My life’s calling came as a result of being present in my 106 year old, loving grandmother’s journey until her last breath. Although I loved her dearly, I often felt troubled that I couldn’t be there for her like I wanted. Life got in the way; being a wife and mother and having a successful career. She was pretty healthy, but she lacked companionship. I knew there were things that could improve the quality of her life such as long talks, sharing stories, cooked meals, and transportation to the doctors, stores and church. I did my best, but there simply wasn’t enough time in the day to show up like I felt she deserved. Her passing gave my life’s purpose clear; service to elders and their loved ones. I made it my life’s mission to promote the final years as a sacred, beautiful, honorable stage of life. I became a hospice volunteer and a certified end-of-life doula, a person who assists in the dying process, much like a birth doula does with the birthing process. Working with elderly patients has been life affirming so much so that I left a career of 20+ years. Along with my team, we serve as non-medical elderly companions who specialize in physical, emotional and spiritual care. We meet our clients on their terms, see them as whole, and build relationships with them and their loved ones. Our self-care regimen, personal growth and intuition allow us to mindfully hold space and provide comfort for elderly people and their family in a non-judgmental, loving manner. Our motto “heart to heart" is evident in the holistic elder companionship we provide. Holding this space decreases the stress and fears family members face when looking for care for their loved ones; whether they are in need of respite relief, work long hours or live long distance. We can help. Through extensive end-of-life doula training, we are able to provide support, education, and suggestions for comfort. We have a toolkit of available resources to ease the anxious person and their family members including virtual “elder cams,” essential oils, crystals, reiki, mindfulness practices, etc. We are often referred to as “angels”, “Godsends”, “extraordinary”, “beyond belief” and words of the like. Contact us TODAY to see how we can be of assistance to you TOMORROW and we promise to assist in enhancing the life of your loved elder. MEMBERSHIPS National End-of-Life Doula Alliance Doulagivers National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization End of Life Practitioners Collective National Home Funeral Alliance CERTIFICATIONS Doulagivers End of Life Doula Practitioners Training Reiki Level 2 VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE Ascend Hospice Reiki Practitioner and End of Life Doula Haven Hospice Reiki Practitioner


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