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Commonly thought of as the domain of Palliative care nurses and Priests. Death Doulas give comfort and have open conversations with dying people and their family members.
The demand for trained end-of-life doulas is gaining momentum worldwide, largely because of an aging population, increases in cancer and chronic illness, and a huge shortfall of Palliative care facilities.
Very often as well as doulas, priests, close friends, and family members help provide support to the loved one about to pass.
Although death doulas have been around for eons it remains a largely unregulated industry.
These days Hospices, nursing and retirement homes, hospitals and hospice centers, and funeral homes, do hire end-of-life doulas for ongoing work.
This has led to the creation of a certified course (End of Life Doula Online Certification), by the International Association of Professions Career College (IAP).
- 1 What is a Death Doula and Who do they Serve.
- 2 Are End-of-Life Doulas in Demand?
- 3 Self Care
- 4 FAQ’s
What is a Death Doula and Who do they Serve.
Essentially they help their patients plan out their deaths, by talking to them about their wishes, and how they would like to spend their last days.
They provide non-judgmental, non-medical support to those nearing the end of their life.
“We journey with the person who’s dying and their family to help them navigate through the whole end-of-life process.”International End of Life Doula Association New Jersey
The various tasks expected of an Eold (end-of-life doula), could include all in the list below.
- Provide educational information to patients and families about the stages of dying
- Provide non-biased emotional support for the dying and their loved ones
- Employ hands-on care techniques to keep the dying as comfortable as possible, while not interfering with, or providing medical support or care.
- Offer spiritual support in a manner that aligns with the client. Not your personal beliefs
- Be a guide in navigating end-of-life planning and paperwork.
- Provide grief resources and education.
- Maintain a list of referrals to appropriate community organizations and care providers
- Offer neutral, supportive encouragement to clients as they get their personal affairs in order – including being an empathetic companion as they make their final amends
- Be available for practical help such as driving to appointments and handling household chores.
In addition, death doulas often provide death education to the general public, teaching topics like hospice care, palliative medicine, and death rituals.
An Eold seeks to eliminate the silence around death-related topics, decrease anxiety surrounding death, and dismantle the foundation of inequality, racism, and social marginalization at end of life.
Who do Death Doulas Serve?
Normally an end-of-life Doula is a self-employed “contractor,” and can choose to be the support system of all or some in the below list.
- The elderly (possibly for years before their death is due for arrival)
- The terminally ill, at any age
- The grieving, those who have lost or are about to say goodbye to a loved one
- Those facing the loss of a pet or beloved animal.
- Those not near death but who want to wrestle with and confront their mortality now
- Those looking to practically plan for their end-of-life care and final burial or funeral, at any age, regardless of health status.
An Eold’s work can range from logistical planning for the times before, during, and after death as well as…
- Conducting rituals or comforting practices
- Helping the dying person reflect on their life and values.
- Helping them to complete projects that establish their legacy (transcribing their thoughts and memories into a journal or book for example).
- Explaining the bodily functions of dying to caregivers.
Are End-of-Life Doulas in Demand?
As long as people have been living, people have been dying, and others have been supporting them.
Not only the dying but mothers giving birth as well (birth Doulas).
However, the demand for how we care for the deceased and provide emotional support for the dying seemed to develop more of a focus in the last 20 years, particularly after 9/11.
Since then more people have realized the value and power of humanitarian work.
Hospitals, Hospices, and aged care homes don’t have the staff to provide the support required for dying patients.
Covid showed us that health systems are not up to scratch, and there is a push to do death differently, thus increasing the need for death doulas.
Increasingly, many people are choosing to die at home.
Eold’s now play an increasingly important part in the dying process, often working in conjunction with medical professionals.
This has led to the creation of death doula certification courses, that offer professional training in the complete scope of end-of-life doula responsibilities, and pass on their knowledge to others.
How Much Do Eold’s Get Paid?
This is a frequent question. Generally, they are self-employed contractors and set their own rates.
The hourly rate can range from $25 to over $100 an hour, depending on the needs of the client, or it can be a daily rate or weekly rate.
Check that your training course includes setting fees. This will help you determine your rate and include allowances for any business overheads you have.
Is it a Requirement to be Certified?
Presently there are no educational prerequisites or requirements to become a death doula. You don’t need prior training in any field in order to be an Eold.
Generally, most are self-employed contractors.
However, there are businesses that hire or recommend Eold’s (funeral homes, hospices, even hospitals, and aged care homes).
They want to know that the person they recommend, has broad-based knowledge and understands the responsibilities of what is required of them.
So having qualifications from a reputable institution, will help give business owners confidence that you can perform the task required of you.
Working with the death community can take its toll, especially if you aren’t prepared for the emotional piece of the career.
Seeing people transition from life to death can be challenging, so it is helpful if you can maintain a practice of mindfulness and serenity for both yourself and your client.
One thing a death doula needs is self-care and lots of it. If you crash emotionally then you are of no use to anyone.
Any professional training course should / must have this included in their training.
Also (on a brighter note), undertaking training is a great help when applying for government licensing if setting up your own business.
If you are applying for a bank loan for your business, a professional certification will go a long way to showing you are serious about your business.
Choosing a Reputable Training Provider.
Typical of the internet, you are going to see “free end-of-life doula training” or maybe “death doula training online free”, or something similar.
Usually these are “carrots” to get you in and then upsell you to the “real course”. Some of these can cost anywhere from $600.00 – $3,000.00
There is not much I haven’t seen online when it comes to online courses and work-from-home ideas.
I have a stack of reviews here.
Most are a waste of time and money.
One online course for Eold that is reasonably priced and well worth a look, is the IAP Death Doula Course
It covers everything discussed above, including self-care and pet doula services.
Other Benefits Include
- Access to a Faculty Member to provide you with personal teaching assistance and business advice.
- Textbook: IAP Career College Guide to Become a Death Doula (e-book edition)
- Business Planning
- You can study and complete assignments at a time that suits you from the comfort of your own home.
- You can complete the course in as little as 30 days.
What is The International Association of Professions Career College
Also known as IAP Career College, the aim is to offer the finest in affordable online certificate courses for non-traditional and “dream” careers. IAP Career College is a division of FabJob Inc. We make professional non-traditional career education accessible to adult learners around the planet.
What if the Registration Fee is More Than I can pay at once?
They realize even with lower fees than other certificate courses, the registration fee may still be more than some people can afford. If the registration fee is beyond your budget, contact us at email@example.com to arrange payment in two equal installments. The first payment is due on or before the course start date. The final payment is due 30 days later.
Is death doula a real job?
Yes. Working as a death doula is meaningful work
The job of a doula is to help during a large life-changing moment. Death doulas assist dying people with logistical planning and emotional preparation for death — and are often one of the last few people in the room helping with the transition from life to death.
End-of-life doulas hope to bring comfort and peace to the very last seconds of every person’s time in this world. Words to describe you may include: brave, gifted, intuitive, and compassionate. You may feel called to do this work.IAP College.
You can complete the End of Life Doula Certificate course online, in the comfort of your own home. Click the link for Pricing and how to start. IAP Death Doula Course