End-of-Life Doula Program at JCMCF

Jackson County Medical Care Facility takes an active role in the life transition of our Elders and Families. JCMCF provides this life experience to honor and assist our Elders with many specialized trained doulas throughout our community.

What is an End-of-Life Doula?

Doulas provide holistic, personalized care to individuals and families as they experience life’s major transitions…birth, the early weeks of new parenthood, and death. While the services of birth and postpartum doulas are becoming more mainstream, the End-of-Life Doula role is relatively new and evolving.
The End-of-Life Doula role is to accompany the dying person and their loved ones through the final months, weeks, and days of life. The Doula provides support, resources, education, and friendship for those who accept and embrace during as a period of life, not just an abrupt ending. This period of life may last a year or a day. It brings challenges and joys, sorrows, and opportunity. The End-of-Life Doula adds a layer of support for both the dying person and their family to help them live life to the fullest.
    End-of-Life Doulas learn to enhance and empower, rather than usurp the role of friends, family, and at JCMCF, work with the Team and spiritual care providers. They learn how to set guidelines, define their reach, maintain good boundaries and practice self-care.
As more and more of us live longer and face chronic and life-limiting illness, the period of dying has extended from a few days or weeks to months or years. Medical care focuses solely on cure and treatment. Patients often feel adrift among medical choices while grasping for ways to live with illness in full awareness that death will come. Life choices include acceptance, growth, and sharing gifts of love and preparation.

There is much meaning to be found during the “dying year” that is profound and life affirming. It is a time of opportunity and growth to be embraced, not shunned. The End-of-Life Doula guides and accompanies the dying person and their family as they explore their territory and live to the fullest during this transition time.

The End-of-Life Doulas provide compassionate, practical assistance to individuals and their families as they face death. Doula support services are multifaceted, encompassing emotional, physical, logistical, and information needs of the family.

End-of-Life Doula role is to provide comfort and support to individuals who lack extended family support, who may feel lonely or afraid, or whose primary caregivers are exhausted and in need of respite. The role of the End-of-Life Doula does not duplicate the work of other professionals. Rather, the Doula is a trained CarePartner at JCMCF and works as a part of the JCMCF Team, employing a holistic, non-medical skills set. At a time when families are stretched thin and feeling overwhelmed doulas assist in completing the circle of support for the person who is dying and supporting their loved ones. The Doula’s goal is to provide thoughtful, proactive support to ensure the best quality of life possible, right through the end.

The range of services provided includes:
oLife review and legacy project support
oEducation, information, and resources
oFacility end-of-life planning
oMediation and advocacy so that they dying person’s wishes                      are honored
oComfort measures for the dying Emotional support
oRespite for the caregiver(s) while loved one resides at   
                 Jackson County Medical Care Facility
oLogistical and household support resources
oAfter death care

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