: ‘So many people are terrified of death.’ Death doulas provide end-of-life support.

by | Sep 10, 2022 | Stock Market

When Diane Button’s grandfather died at 85, he had a smile on his face and a sense of peace that made her want to learn his secret.  Being with him in the final hours of his death after watching his life caring for others as a doctor inspired Button to get a master’s degree in counseling and start volunteering with hospice programs. She then trained as a ‘death doula,’ wrote books about living well, and now teaches at the end-of-life doula professional certificate program at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont.

“It wasn’t so much to learn about dying as it was to learn about living well and ultimately dying well,” Button said. Button is part of a growing number of so-called ‘death doulas’ who provide nonmedical care and support for people who are dying. Similar to the dynamic between a midwife and a birth doula, a physician or hospice caregiver would provide medical care at the end of life, while a death doula provides emotional and spiritual support and help to the patient and the family and friends. There’s currently no licensing, no industry standards and no insurance reimbursement for death doula services. Doulas can b …

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