I HAVE HOSPICE SERVICES; WHY SHOULD I HIRE DEATH DOULA DANIELLE?
Hospice is an amazing resource and I recommend that all of my clients who are eligible to receive hospice services, do so.
Patients are only eligible for hospice care once a physician makes a clinical determination that life expectancy is six months or less if the terminal illness runs its normal course. You do not have to "qualify" for a death doula's services. We can begin working together the minute you're diagnosed to help ease your anxiety about your life-limiting illness by facing your eventual mortality and preparing for it mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and practically.
Hospice resources, like all medical care in our current system, are stretched very thin. Your nurse will visit for at most, an hour per day, and that's usually only in the last week or so of life. It's generally once a week or so prior to that. You may get a caregiver or CNA to come help with ADLs (activities of daily living) once or twice per week. Chaplains are a standard part of the hospice interdisciplinary team and they offer spiritual support, but you may see them once or twice per month, until the final days of life. As your Death Doula, I can spend as much time with you as you need. We can create legacy projects together, create playlists of music to listen to in your final months/days/minutes, I can help facilitate challenging conversations with family members, I can offer guided meditations and visualizations to help ease pain and calm you, allowing you to use less medications.
Death Doula services are an accompaniment to, not a substitute for, hospice care.
WHEN SHOULD I CONTACT DEATH DOULA DANIELLE?
Ideally, you'd contact me when you are young and healthy and death seems far away in your future. We'd go through the End of Life Coaching process and determine your "Ideal Death" and together we'd write your Vigil Plan. Then, years down the line, we reconnect when you need to put that playbook into action.
But, we don't live in an ideal world. We live in the real world. So, the real world answer is that you contact me when you need help, support, guidance, education, or a shoulder to cry on regarding all things end of life. Whenever that may be.
You contact me when you get diagnosed with a life limiting illness, or when someone you loved is diagnosed. Or when your loved one has just been placed on hospice and you're feeling overwhelmed. Or when your loved one is lying in the ICU, on a ventilator, and you need help, support and guidance to remove the breathing tube. Or you contact me when you're interested in VSED or MAID and want education and guidance. You contact me when you're looking for ways to honor the sacredness of an impending transition with ritual and ceremony.
You don't have to do any of this alone. Let us walk home, together.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY "SLIDING SCALE" FEES?
I sincerely never want finances to be a hinderance or barrier to someone receiving my services at end of life. I believe that every human deserves a dignified death, with support and companionship from another human capable of holding space for the sacredness of the transition.
I provide volunteer and bro bono services to those who cannot afford it. I've calculated that I spend about 20% of my working hours providing care to those unable to pay money in exchange for my time. So, I've decided to set aside 20% of all proceeds from each paying client to help compensate for this time. For Bedside Vigil Planning & Holding Services I will send an invoice for all hours worked at a minimum rate of $20/hour. I ask that clients pay anything above and beyond this amount that they are comfortable with; keeping in mind that any additional funds help pay for those who cannot.