Hello my name is Myra Bennett, and I am an end of life doula at Compassionate Crossings in Sacramento. Let me start with a common question that I get a lot; what is an end-of-life guide? The common term is “end of life doula”, but I feel more comfortable with the word “guide”, because that’s what I feel like I’m doing, I’m guiding. I’m guiding the person who is in at end-of-life, I am guiding the family and loved ones as well. So an end-of-life guide is in the home, wherever that person calls home. It can be an assisted living facility, a skilled nursing facility, a board-and-care. It can be that person’s home, but what I’m doing is I’m helping that person through that process at end-of-life, and I’m helping the loved ones that are there. Unlike hospice, an end of life doula is a holistic model, and what that means is that doula will be helping the dying person and their loved ones physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Just being there believe it or not is very, very comforting to people. Because I’ve been a nurse for so many years, and many of those years were as a hospice nurse, I understand death and dying very well. And I know when things are going well, I know when things are not going so well, and we could use some help. And although dying is a normal natural act of life, it’s difficult and most families will say that when they feel they need the support the most, which is right at end-of-life, that what they call the “11th hour”, hospice can’t be there…because most of the time it’s a natural event, and so the person is just simply leaving. It’s not difficult for the dying person, but terribly difficult for the loved one’s seeing their beloved go.
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What is End of Life Doula