Caring for the Dying: The Doula Approach to a Meaningful by Henry Fersko-Weiss LCSW

By Henry Fersko-Weiss LCSW

Caring for the Dying describes a complete new solution to strategy demise and death. It explores how the demise and their households can deliver deep which means and nice convenience to the care given on the finish of a existence. Created by way of Henry Fersko-Weiss, the end-of-life doula version is tailored from the paintings of start doulas and is helping the demise to discover that means of their lifestyles, exhibit that which means in strong and lovely legacies, and plan for the ultimate days. The procedure demands around-the-clock vigil care, so the demise individual and their relations have the emotional and non secular aid they wish besides tips on symptoms of demise. It additionally covers the paintings of reprocessing a demise with the family members later on and the early paintings of grieving.

Emphasis is put on the distance round the death individual and encourages using contact, guided imagery, and formality throughout the demise approach. during the ebook Fersko-Weiss tells remarkable and inspiring tales of the folk he has cared for, in addition to tales that come from doulas he has proficient and labored with over the years.

What is exclusive approximately this ebook is the well-conceived and thorough procedure it describes to operating skillfully with the death. The tips supplied will help a death individual, their family members, and caregivers to rework the demise adventure from one in every of worry and melancholy into person who is uplifting or even lifestyles putting forward. you will discover demise in a brand new gentle and achieve a distinct viewpoint on easy methods to support the death. it will possibly even swap how you reside your existence correct now.

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Additional info for Caring for the Dying: The Doula Approach to a Meaningful Death

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My work as a death doula began in 2003, when I created the first hospice-based end-of-life doula program in the country. At the time, I had been a hospice social worker for only six years. I had entered the field in my late forties, after four years as a hospice volunteer and having returned to graduate school for my social work degree. My exposure to dying people and those in grief made me realize that I felt a calling to this work. Over and over again as I served dying patients and their families at a large New York City hospice, I saw less-than-ideal deaths: a patient being rushed off to die in the hospital, even though they wanted to die at home; a husband or wife sleeping through the death of their spouse in the next room because they were too exhausted to stay up or didn't recognize the symptoms of imminent death; an adult child not called to the bedside for the last breaths because a paid caregiver took it upon themselves to “protect” that child from the supposed pain of watching the death.

This approach also goes well beyond rupturing the thick crust of denial and evasion that separates us from facing death more directly. It also encourages people to explore the meaning of their lives and to express that meaning through memory books, videos, scrolls, or decorated boxes that hold special objects or stories. It helps people to introduce a sense of sacredness into the dying process; to establish how they want the space around them to look and feel in the last days of life. It introduces the idea of designing rituals they can conduct during the last days, which will enrich the meaning of the experience.

Sometimes symptoms can't be well managed at home and need the closeness of nurses and doctors around the clock. Sometimes caregivers are so debilitated by all the care they have given for months, if not years, that they reach a point at which they can't go on—either temporarily or permanently. Under these conditions, the dying person may be moved to a hospice in-patient unit, a nursing home, or even the hospital, so the caregivers can feel comfortable or have respite. If the dying person needs to spend the last days of life outside their home, then it is important to consider how the more sterile and institutional space of a hospital or facility room can be made to feel more like home.

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