different is where we do it and by what mechanism.
As our quarantine status shifts over time, so will how we deliver our services. We may not be able to accompany at the bedside but you will be able to do all the rest of what we do. You are still needed during the pre-dying time, but depending on where we are with this pandemic, you may not be able to be bedside.
The single most important new addition to our role (for every doula) is that of providing some kind of long term bereavement support for people affected by dying during covid. (Most doula services stop during early bereavement unless you are a bereavement doula).
Think about that.
If you are not able to incorporate that into your practice have people and organizations and services you can recommend for your person and family who was affected by death during COVID-19.
Remember, people need support right now, whether it is in person, by phone, by zoom, by car, by mail, by social media--it's the knowing that someone is near by, that you have someone you can talk to now. Together, you and they will decide what you both are willing to risk.
This needs to be between the doula and the person being served and their family.
Let the CDC guidelines be your guide. Remember all the rules of what has kept so many of us safe thus far. The job of helping at bedside puts you well within the 6 foot rule and in danger as well as the person you are helping and their family.
Again, you and the person that needs help will need to make the decision together what lengths you are willing to go.
As a death doula, in our role of non-medical, practical, holistic and emotional support, don't wait until COVID is over before you begin serving people; COVID will never be over. People need us now.
Everyone must pivot in their lives right now.
We each will have a new way of relating to the world personally and professionally. End of life doulas are perfect for the needs that are happening due to the pandemic. There is much trauma from not being able to accompany our loved ones through illness, through dying and through death. So many have not been able to be there for the funeral either.
We have no idea what this is going to do to the people who are affected. We can see now that many are inconsolable. Yes that is normal to be inconsolable when a loved one dies, but their is an added layer of profound trauma from not being able to be present along the way.
Doulas have the perfect skill set to accompany people as they find their way after an experience like this. We are not therapists or chaplains or social workers. But we are human beings with a skill set to stay out of the way of a person's journey with dying and death and grief.
There is so much more to come for all of us. We are extremely lucky that our end of life doula movement is already in place. We thought we were in place for the 'silver tsunami' that is to come, the baby boomers who are aging and will be dying in record numbers. Yes we will be needed there too and we have time before that need is huge.
Right now we have this. And from what I know about training doulas for over 10 years, is that they are innovative, caring and deeply passionate about end of life support and together we will find a way through this.
Watch the Video Here:
00:15 Beginning of doulas in hospice, palliative care and changing awareness
1:44 Evolution of palliative care
2:55 The Silver Tsunami
3:20 Bridging the gaps and supporting others
5:00 Dying well in the modern age
6:00 Doulas are a part of the solution
7:12 Covid-19 brought a bigger need and demand
8:04 Pre-Death, During-Death, Post-Death Accompaniment
9:31 The average end-of-life doula and deep listeners
10:54 Every doula should have a long term bereavement plan
11:55 Time to step up
12:54 New ways to reach out
14:12 Hospice is a consultancy service and support doulas
15:59 Now is the time to go out