Summer is going full steam ahead and, right now, everything out there makes it seem like we’re in a pleasant fantasy movie. Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, kids are playing outdoors, and there are the backyard barbecues and leisurely jaunts into the great outdoors.
Yet, at the same time, our world and our lives keep evolving too, whether we like it or not. Change is part of life, and we can choose to embrace it, or not.
It's when we notice that things are changing that we can revisit what matters the most to us in life, our priorities, the people we love. Now is a good time.
To be able to live well, we must learn to deal with changes. Birth and death and every part of the dash in between. Where are we running to? and why? People with life-limiting diagnoses know this intimately: When they come to terms with their mortality, their priorities often change. Yet very few healthy people live this way, though— why? End-of-life specialists want to change that. #LifePlanning, #EOLDoulas.
So let's catch up with the 10 most positive and inspirational changes happening in the world of end-of-life care, and this world is growing because it encompasses the true meaning of Life.
1- This month, the New York Times published a must-read article called "The Positive Death Movement Comes to Life". Here is the link.
2- In that article, my mentor Suzanne O'Brien, was quoted. “The first step is recognizing that death is a natural part of life’s journey.”We've made death so taboo. How can something be taboo when it is certain?" said Suzanne O’Brien, a former hospice and oncology nurse who now trains end-of-life doulas @ International Doulagivers Institute, www.doulagivers.com.
3- I was interviewed in the "Ask a Death Doula" podcast; listen to "I love being a death doula", while relaxing at the beach.
4- Meanwhile, at the National level, EOL Doulas are being recognized. First on June 1, 2018, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), the leading hospice and palliative care membership organization in the US announces the formation of a Council to provide information and resources to its members, affiliated organizations, and the public regarding the role of end-of-life doulas. Read the Press release here.
5- Concurrently, the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance (NEDA) was born, Access their website here. It is a membership organization that is defining the scope of practice and code of ethics of the EOLD Practitioners. Its mission seeks to inspire positive, creative change in American death practices by offering the highest standard and ethical and practical guidelines, public education, and rich networking opportunities for all end-of-life (EOL) doulas who wish to provide meaningful experiences for the dying, their caregivers, and the agencies involved. Remember to always hire a Doula with credentials, background clearance, liability insurance and experience.
6- But wait, there is more - the movement keeps growing: International Doulagivers Institute Announced Educational Partnership Program to Support Global End of Life Education. Here it the press release from June 6, 2018. "It is our goal to have at least one person in each family unit trained with the Doulagivers Free Family Caregiver Training”— Suzanne B O'Brien RN. In the article, you'll read about the global movement, where it is coming from and where we are going.
7- Basically, for you, it means more support: more doulas for your needs, more mentors for doulas. For instance, I have become one of the Doulagivers® Trainers and Partners in the US, and I plan to expand the movement in France in the next few years. http://www.doulagivers.com/doulagivers-new-haven-county/; http://www.doulagivers.com/doulagivers-of-france/
8- Doulagivers Trainers and Partners Provide Free basic Education to their Communities. The Doulagivers education partners will be offering the Free Level 1 End of Life Doula Family Caregiver/ Community volunteer training programs and host Death Cafe's in their communities. The Level 1 training will be also be offered for free through live webinars and live in person workshops. Death Cafe's will be held in community spaces and are free of charge. Doulagivers' main goal is to educate and empower family caregivers and community volunteers to have the skills to care for their own at the end of life. This invaluable education and awareness can help ensure that everyone everywhere can have a peaceful end of life experience.
The next Family Caregiver/ Community volunteer training in New Haven CT:
9- Want to learn more and become a doula for your family unit? The next level of training is Certified Doulagivers End of Life Doula Training. We are running special offers until August. Access the training curriculum, details, bonuses and discounts, student support here. And you'll get me as your mentor.
10- Want to learn even more and become the Certified Doulagivers specialist? The next level of training is Certified Doulagivers Specialist Training. Access the training curriculum, details, bonuses and discounts, student support here. Register through my webiste and and you'll get me as your mentor.
In Summary, we all need teaching. Not just help. We all need someone to teach you music, or dance, or accounting, or the law. We all need teachers. Birth doulas and midwives teach you to give birth and breastfeed and joggle with the changes a child brings to your life, so you and your children develop healthful and happy relationships. You may teach your students to understand maths or physics, or the use of words. Someone can teach you other topics you don't know. Life is a big adventure. We must teach one another. EOL doulas are the new teachers of how to care for loved ones at the time of crisis. We can also teach you to prepare so the crisis are managed with peace of mind. Live a meaningful life, until the end. Full circle. Don't assume you know, because none of us can pretend to know everything. Don't ignore the unknown, because that's when you are dismissive and unprepared that things happen and you loose your balance.
Wishing you Peace and Growth,