FAQs

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1. Is it too late to contact a death doula for help?

No, it is never too late to ask a death doula for help. We work with people during all the stages of the dying process. While we try to help the person prepare for a peaceful death, that doesn’t always happen. We are often called by a family member who is watching their loved one labor out of this world and we can be there to support and guide the entire family through the process.

2. What are common signs death is approaching?

You will start to notice a decrease in appetite, changes in breathing patterns, withdrawal from social interactions, increased sleep and decreased responsiveness.

3. What are some common misconceptions about death?

Common misconceptions include the idea that talking about death is morbid or that grieving should be a brief process. In reality, discussing death can help in preparation, and grief can take different forms and durations for everyone.

4. What can I do with my body after I die?

In New Mexico we have the options of conventional burial in a cemetery, traditional burial in a natural cemetery and cremation. Other options that are available outside the state of New Mexico are Natural Organic Reduction (NOR) or body composting and aquamation. This decision is deeply personal and we can discuss each option in detail to ensure the path you choose is right for you.

5. Is a death doula’s services covered by medical insurance?

No, because we don’t offer medical support. Hospice or your medical team is supporting you through that part of the process. Death doulas work along you’re your medical team to support the client and their family with a more holistically approach. This can include offering guidance on what is coming next, emotional and spiritual support, and opening lines of communication so what needs to be said can be. Also, by not accepting insurance, we are not constrained by the number of hours we are available to assist you and your loved ones. If you choose to have us there with you for a few hours to a few days we can do that for you. It is about you and the support you need as the process is unfolding.

6. When should someone hire a death doula?

A death doula can be hired by anyone who wants to consider their end-of-life plans. This can be months to years in advance of death. You don’t have to wait until a terminal diagnosis has been received. Early engagement allows for comprehensive planning and support.

7. How do death doulas provide emotional support?

Death doulas offer a compassionate presence, listen to fears and concerns, provide companionship, and facilitate conversations about dying and death. They may also use techniques such as guided imagery, meditation, and legacy projects to support emotional well-being.

8. Can death doulas support spiritual needs?

Yes, death doulas respect and support the spiritual or religious beliefs of their clients, helping to create rituals, connect with spiritual advisors, or incorporate practices that bring comfort and meaning.

9. Why create rituals or ceremonies around death?

We have rituals or ceremonies around many of life’s big events like graduation from kindergarten and high school, sweet sixteen parties, first promotion at work, home warming party, over the hill parties, retirement parties and many more. Why not incorporate these activities into the last stages of life? A celebration of life, before and/or after death, can be an especially healing moment for everyone involved.

10. How do death doulas support families and caregivers?

Death doulas offer guidance on what to expect during the dying process, provide resources and referrals, facilitate family meetings, and offer scheduling support for respite care to give caregivers a break. Through our training and experience, we have lots of tools at our disposal and tips to help the family during this time.

11. Can death doulas help resolve family conflicts?

While death doulas are not mediators, they can facilitate open and respectful communication, help clarify wishes, and support family members in finding common ground.

12. Can death doulas help resolve family conflicts?

While death doulas are not mediators, they can facilitate open and respectful communication, help clarify wishes, and support family members in finding common ground.

13. What should I look for when choosing a death doula?

Consider the doula’s training, experience, references, and personal connection. It’s important to choose someone who aligns with your values and feels like a good fit for your needs and personality.

14. How are death doulas trained and certified?

Death doulas typically undergo specialized training programs offered by organizations like Doulagivers, Conscious Dying Collective, International Doula Life Movement, Village Deathcare Citizen Training or other educational institutions. Certification requirements vary, and continuing education is often encouraged.

15. What role does a death doula play during the final days?

During the final days, a death doula provides continuous presence, emotional support, and ensures that the individual’s end-of-life wishes are respected. They may also help create a peaceful environment and assist with legacy projects.

16. What happens after the death of the individual?

Transitioning out of end-of-life care to after-death care is a significate phase where death doulas continue to provide crucial support. Death doulas can help with immediate tasks such as offering support and guidance on how to handle the difficult conversations of letting loved ones know about the death. We can provide a calming presence during this initial shock period, helping family members process their immediate emotions and needs. We can walk the family through body care after death by guiding them through washing, dressing, and repositioning the body. Death doulas can also provide grief support and resources for the family, helping them navigate the early stages of bereavement.

17. Do you assist with Mortuary Services?

Death doulas can be present when the mortuary arrives to ensure that the process of transferring the deceased to the mortuary is smooth and respectful. Death doulas act as a liaison between the family and the mortuary staff, helping to manage logistical details. If your loved one dies at home, death doulas can play a crucial role in creating a peaceful and respectful environment making the space more comfortable and supportive for the family. Allowing families to have a space where they still feel close to their loved one after their body is removed.

18. How is a death doula different from a hospice worker?

While hospice workers are medical professionals focused on palliative care, pain management, and medical support, death doulas offer complementary services focused on emotional and spiritual support, planning, and advocacy.

19. Do death doulas perform medical tasks?

No, death doulas do not perform medical tasks. They provide non-medical support and work alongside healthcare providers.

Explore our FAQs or contact us directly to learn more about our services and how we can support you and your loved ones during this important journey.