4. End-of-Life Planning Workshops
These workshops are on hold until we can safely gather in groups again. The workshops will include Advance Care Planning, planning sessions that will help you to think through and plan for your end-of-life and help you put together a Vigil Plan for the last days and hours of life.
In these workshops, we will help individuals plan for their end-of-life. We plan for every other life event, but seldom plan for our end-of-life. Planning now will help you live a happier and more fulfilling life, knowing that your family has been taken care of. We hope for a long and happy life, but prepare for the unexpected.
During end-of-life planning, we will talk about who should speak for you if you can no longer speak for yourself, write letters to our loved ones, prepare legacy projects, and think about how to best support the people you leave behind.
2. End-of-Life Doula Services
At Huron Shores Hospice we are very fortunate to have four trained End of Life Doulas, who are willing to volunteer their time to help our potential residents with their end-of-life planning and life meaning work.
What is an End of Life Doula?
The role of an End of Life Doula was developed to fill the gap in palliative care programs that don’t always have the structure or staffing to alleviate the care issues that arise from our cultural denial and avoidance around death. Doulas help restore sacredness to dying, provide respite to exhausted caregivers, bring deep meaning to the dying experience, and prepare people for the last breaths of their loved one. An End of Life Doula not only fills this gap in services, she/he also introduces best practices that offer the dying deeper meaning and provides greater comfort to family.
How Doulas Serve:
- Allowing the dying person and those close to them to speak openly and frankly about dying.
- Offering the dying person an opportunity to explore the meaning of their life and their impact on others.
- Bringing a focused and intuitive presence to the bedside that encourages a deeper engagement for all involved.
- Preparing for the last days by creating a plan for how the dying space looks and feels; the music or sounds; readings and rituals, and so much more.
- Offering and modeling how to touch the dying person.
- Explaining the signs and symptoms of the dying process as they occur.
- Processing the emotions and experiences with family after the person has died and guiding them in their early grief.
If you are interested in speaking to one of our End of Life Doulas, please contact Cheryl Cottrill at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 519.368.7762. Cheryl will be happy to speak with you more about how a Doula can help your family.
More on What an End of Life Doula Offers:
What is an End of Life Doula (also called a “Death Doula”)?
End of life doulas work with a dying person, their family, friends, and caregivers in the last months of life to support them emotionally, spiritually, and physically. They are nonmedical professionals who supplement the work of hospices (and who can begin to work with patients before they’re eligible for hospice).
The skills of an end of life doula may overlap somewhat with that of chaplains and social workers, enabling a doula to work in collaboration with them for the benefit of patients and families. Doulas can spend more time with patients and provide additional, doula-specific support, as well as support requested by the chaplain or social worker.
End of life doulas also provide information to help the dying person and others make choices about, or understand the nature of, the dying process. They are trained in 3 key areas: Summing Up & Planning; Conducting Vigil; Reprocessing & Early Grief.
Summing Up & Planning centers on exploring important aspects of a dying person’s life. This is one of the primary areas of focus for end-of-life doulas: exploring meaning through life review, helping a dying person and those close to them look at what has been important to them over the course of their life, what they have learned, the values they have come to hold, their impact on the people they have lived among, and what they consider to be their legacy. As part of this work, a doula can create a legacy project with the dying and/or family—such as a life scroll, collection of recipes with stories, or a narrated guide to precious possessions. In addition, the doula might help the dying plan what they want their room or bed to look like during the last couple weeks or days of their lives.
Conducting Vigil refers to being present during the phase of active dying, using guided visualization to help relax the patient, and supporting the plan the dying wanted for their last days.
Reprocessing & Early Grief work can provide support immediately after death. For instance, a doula might conduct a closing ritual similar to what a chaplain, if present, would do (such as the Bedside Memorial Service), or it might be something very specific that the patient and family requested (such as holding hands while telling their favorite memories, covering the body with flowers, or bathing the body together).
What Are Specific Ways an End of Life Doula Can Supplement Hospice Care?
1. Take the time for a deeper conversation about dying, should the chaplain or social worker want additional support for the patient and/or family.
2. Prepare a formal plan for what the patient and family want during vigil.
3. Create guided visualizations to help relax the patient and/or the caregivers.
4. Explore life’s purpose meaning through a series of life review questions.
5. Help create a legacy project.
6. Sit vigil during active dying.
7. Sit with the family after death and conduct a closing ritual if desired.
8. Help family members retell the dying story, uncover recurring images, discuss things said/not said during the vigil.
1. Grief Recovery Method Sessions
At Huron Shores Hospice (HSH) we follow the Grief Recovery Method established by the Grief Recovery Institute.
Learn More at their Official Website:
Grief is one of the most widely felt emotions but also one of the most misunderstood feelings. Every relationship is different which means every loss is different. Here at HSH we have opened a dialogue to walk through the chapters of your stories.
If you are dealing with grief related to the loss of a family member or friend, Huron Shores Hospice offers an 8-session educational program that provides a safe environment for you to look at your beliefs about dealing with loss, and provide actions that will lead you to complete unresolved emotions that may still be causing you pain. Our trained and certified grief recovery specialists® will facilitate your journey with compassion, confidentiality, and dignity.
The Grief Recovery Group is not a ‘drop-in’ support group. The program builds on each previous session, so attendance and commitment for the 8 sessions is essential.
Grief support through Huron Shores Hospice is now offered in person as well as online.
For more information please email email@example.com or call 519-385-5683.
We offer a safe space for you to look at your beliefs and deal with loss. We provide next steps that will lead you to work through unresolved emotions that may be causing you pain. These small groups are led by Grief Recovery Method Specialists®, trained and certified by the Grief Recovery Institute.
If you prefer to work face-to-face with a trained and certified Grief Recovery Method Specialist® rather than in a group setting these sessions are provided. This meeting format utilizes the same materials as the group programs but in a more private setting.
On-line For those who do not have access to a trained and certified Grief Recovery Method Specialist® in their immediate area, or prefer on-line sessions, this format is extremely effective. These specialists have been carefully selected and specifically trained to offer Grief Recovery Method Support in this setting over a secured network.
3. Death Cafés
Death Cafés are hosted by Huron Shores Hospice in public locations across our community with the goal of increasing our comfort in talking about death and dying. Death Cafés are designed to be an uplifting, interactive adventure that transforms this seemingly difficult conversation into one of deep engagement and empowerment. At a Death Café, people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea, and discuss their thoughts on death.
A Death Café is not a counselling session, but an opportunity to increase ease and comfort with death & dying conversations.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or join our email distribution list here for upcoming event notifications.