End of life care
What is a Death Doula?
Death Midwife?!?! Death Angel!?!?! Death Doula!?!?!
What are those?
Traditionally, a doula is the name for someone who provides guidance and support to a pregnant woman during labour.
It's not a medical role, but a death doula will usually work alongside someone's medical team to help make their death as comfortable as possible.
In more recent times, the meaning of 'doula' has been extended to describe someone who supports people at the end of their life, too. Also known as a soul midwife or end of life doula, the support this person offers often focuses on the emotional, psychological and spiritual side of dying, as well as the more practical things.
Death doula duties can vary according to the needs of whoever they're supporting at the time. A death doula might focus on doing the practical tasks that allows the people close to the person who's dying to focus on spending quality time with them.
Help with the rites and rituals around the person's death, such as making sure the correct cultural or religious observances are followed as they're dying, and that their body is treated is the right way after their death.
A big part of the death doula's role can be to listen to the person who's dying, and those close to them, offering non-judgemental, emotional and spiritual support.