What is a professional EOL doula?
A professional doula is a person who has completed training in the field of end of life care. She/he typically finds themselves drawn to this work after experiencing a difficult death of a loved one. They seek out and study with the thinkers/teachers/guides who work with death. They believe that death may be experienced as a sacred passage or transition. It is a natural process and not something to be feared.
Why is FCLD a non-profit organization?
Being a non-profit organization 501(c)(3) means we are exempt from paying state and federal income tax and makes any contributions we receive tax deductible to the donor. It means we have a mission to serve the public, a board of directors to guide the organization on how best to do this. We were successful at obtaining this status in 2018.
What does it mean to normalize conversations about death? When one becomes committed to conversations about death, we consciously shift our cultural tendency from being death-phobic toward embracing death as a meaningful life transition. Our life transitions include:
- Adulthood- early, middle and late
What exactly is “non-medical holistic” support and guidance? Non-medical holistic support and guidance considers the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of the person...the whole person. This is directed by the client’s focused and defined needs. It is not a duplication of what the licensed nurses, doctors and social workers do as medical providers or hospice workers. What we do is complementary to that work. We offer professional but not licensed care.
The care we provide might include:
- Writing up an Advance Health Care Directive, such as Five Wishes
- Co-creating a detailed end of life wishes plan
- Facilitation of the conversation of the client’s wishes with loved ones
- Advocates for end of life choices at home, hospitals and care facilities
- Education and support on the Medical Aid in Dying (MAID)
- Creating one’s legacy for loved ones such as letter writing
- Support through dying process with professional end-of-life doulas
- Education in after-death care, home funerals and green burial
- Grief counseling and referrals
- Community Education Events
- Referrals to community resources
One does not need to have a terminal illness to request our services and education. Many of our clients request our assistance on pre-planning their end of life affairs. However, should one be diagnosed with or in treatment for a terminal illness, the person or a family member may want to explore their options. We listen deeply and support what is desired. We might explore the tender subject of unsuccessful treatments. We might explore what could enrich and ease one’s final chapter of life.
What is family/community led death care?
Family led death care means family/friends/community lovingly participate in the activities that need to be done when a person dies. Historically, it was the family that washed, dressed and laid out the body to lie in honor at home. People could come and pay their respects and say good-bye. Bringing this care back to the family is not for everyone but a growing number of people are seeing this as their final gift to their loved one.
What exactly are my options for advance care planning and an end-of-life plan of care?
There are many options and choices for end of life planning to be considered. These might include:
- Creating your advance health care directive and identifying your health care proxy/agent. This can be done without hiring a lawyer using a basic form from your local hospital, online from California Department of Health Services, or using Five Wishes, which we can provide for you.
- Clarifying your values and choices regarding the use of ventilators, CPR, feeding tubes, dialysis, and other medical treatments that may save or prolong life.
- Identifying your personal values and what they mean when considering one’s end of life experience and co-creating your end of life care plan.
- Proactively considering and planning for the possibility of dementia.
- Learning about conventional burial, green burial, cremation, body composting, aquamation, and mushroom suits.
- Exploring choices between conventional funerals and home funerals.
- Exploring community resources such as hospice, palliative care, and End of Life Option Act.
- Services are individualized and costs vary. For more information, please contact us for a free phone consultation.
What sort of community education events are offered? Community education is an important part of FCLD’s mission. Over the years we have brought in various speakers and have offered workshops. These events have been well received and public attendance reflects the community’s desire to learn more about end-of-life matters. We often collaborate with Hospice of the Foothills as a venue location. Subjects have included:
- California’s End of Life Options Act
- Medical Aid in Dying
- Tibetan Buddhist perspective of death
- Organ donations
- Sponsored EOL doula training for certification
- Pregnancy loss and grief
- What is Full Circle of Living and Dying?
- Advance care directive
- Dementia Directive
- How to choose your Health Care Proxy
- Death Café style gatherings
- What is Home Funeral?
- Green Burial with Nevada Cemetery District
- Outreach education with local groups
- Natural Organic Reduction (human composting)
What is after death care and home funeral? FCLD is committed to helping people know what their legal rights and options are. There is time to consider what this person wished and how to make this time sacred. If there has been a care plan created before death this is the time to put it into action. This may mean bringing the deceased home to lie in honor for 1-3 days. FCLD end of life doulas can guide the family in after death care and may include ceremonial washing of the body and thoughtfully dressing your loved one for the home funeral. Dry ice is used to cool the body for the time at home. Home funeral is a choice for family-led after death care. The family would file the paperwork for the death certificate and arrange for the final disposition and transport of your loved one’s body to a cemetery or crematorium.
What does green burial mean? Green burial is a traditional form of burial that allows natural decomposition of human remains back into the earth. The burial plot is in an area of a cemetery that has been designated and licensed for green burial. The body is not embalmed. The grave does not have a cement or plastic ground vault. If a casket is used it must be made of decomposable soft wood or cardboard, or the body may be wrapped in an earth friendly shroud. Green burial eliminates the use of fuel and the resulting pollution from cremation. It also prevents non-decomposable materials and embalming chemicals from getting into the environment. This is a greener, cleaner way for those who wish to be buried.
What is Medical Aid in Dying (MAID)? Medical aid in dying is the practice in which a terminally ill, mentally competent adult has the option to ingest medication, prescribed by their doctor, to end unbearable suffering and die peacefully in their sleep. This is part of the End of Life Option Act which became California law in June of 2016. This is not suicide or “physician assisted suicide” because the person is already dying from a disease. They are choosing to not prolong a difficult and painful dying process. MAID typically occurs in a home setting surrounded by loved ones.
Developed by the Marketing Team: Akhila, Linda, Mary and Martha, End-of-life Doulas, Full Circle of Living and Dying