End-of-life doulas provide non-medical, holistic support and comfort to the dying person and their family, which may include education and guidance as well as emotional, spiritual or practical care, from as early as initial diagnosis through bereavement.
Home Funeral and Vigil Guides
Home funeral guides provide knowledge about safe and legal home funerals and provide guidance to families who have chosen to act as their own funeral director in caring for a loved one after death. This includes education only about state and local laws, care of the body, disposition options, paperwork filing, and other necessary information to conduct a home funeral.
Celebrants create personalized ceremonies that reflect the stories, wishes, beliefs, cultural background and values - religious or non-religious - of their client's loved one and family.
Healing Touch Practitioner
One who consciously uses hands and intent to promote health and healing. Healing Touch uses only very light or near-body touch to influence the energy field that penetrates and surrounds the body.
Manipulates muscles and other soft tissues in the body to relieve pain, reduce stress and improve general well-being. They first discuss the symptoms, medical history and expectations with the client and then determine the best techniques, or modalities, to use. They use their hands, fingers, forearms, elbows and feet to knead the body’s muscle tissues.
Healing practitioner who places hands lightly on or over a patient's body to facilitate the patient's process of healing. Reiki combines the Japanese and Chinese word-characters of "rei" (spiritual or supernatural) and "ki" (vital energy).
Green Burial Advocates
Green burial is interment in the earth without impeding natural decomposition, such as steel or hardwood caskets, toxic embalming chemicals, or concrete or plastic vaults or liners. The body is not embalmed, or is embalmed without the use of chemicals, and is buried either directly in the ground, or enclosed in a biodegradable container. Those who advocate for green burial at any level educate the public about more affordable, environmentally-responsible, and meaningful burial options.
Bereavement and Grief Support
A professional trained to work with people to help them cope with the loss of a loved one, often through death. Bereavement is a personal experience and the duration varies depending on many factors including the level of attachment to the person (or pet) who died, and how much time the surviving person spent preparing and anticipating the loss.”
Public Speaker/Death Educator
Honors death by educating about death, dying, and bereavement in order to enrich personal lives, inform and guide individuals, and to enhance the ability of individuals to communicate effectively about death-related matters.
Music/Sound Healing Therapist
Uses music to address the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs employing a variety of activities, such as listening to melodies, playing an instrument, drumming, writing songs, and guided imagery. Music therapy touches all aspects of the mind, body, brain and behavior, and can provide a distraction for the mind, slow the rhythms of the body, and alter mood, which in turn can influence behavior. Sound therapy uses various techniques to improve physical and emotional health. Techniques can include gong, drums, singing bowls, tuning forks, chanting, mantras, and brain entrainment. Therapy is most generally done one-on-one.
A professional trained to help alleviate emotional and spiritual pain and disorder, resolve inner conflicts, and promote growth and integration through talking and analysis.
Shamanism is a system of religious practice, historically associated with indigenous and tribal societies, and involves belief that shamans, with a connection to the otherworld, have the power to heal the sick, communicate with spirits, and escort souls of the dead to the afterlife. A Spiritualist is one who believes, as the basis of his or her religion, in the communication between this and the spirit world by means of mediumship, and who endeavors to mold his or her character and conduct in accordance with the highest teachings derived from such communication.
Spiritual Leader/Spiritual Guide
A professional trained in the art of Spiritual Direction or Spiritual Companioning, which is the contemplative practice of helping another person awaken to the mystery called God in all of life, and to respond to that discovery in a growing relationship of freedom and commitment. Spiritual Direction may be faith-based, interfaith-based, or non-faith-based. It is also known as “tending the holy” or “tending the sacred” in the everyday.
Focus is on caring, not curing, and in most cases care is provided in the patient's home by trained practitioners such as RNs, CNAs, social workers, chaplains, and other related service providers. Hospice care also is provided in freestanding hospice centers, hospitals, and nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Hospice services are available to patients of any age, religion, race, or illness. Hospice care is covered under Medicare, Medicaid, most private insurance plans, HMOs, and other managed care organizations.
Patient and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and treating suffering. Palliative care throughout the continuum of illness involves addressing physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs and to facilitate patient autonomy, access to information and choice.
Professional affiliated with a specific religion and bound by vows to that religion / faith. Examples are a Roman Catholic priest or nun, an Imam, rabbi, etc.
A chapter of a national non-profit organization choir that sing to people on the threshold of dying, to soothe and reassure the dying, their family, friends and caregivers.
A Legacy Creator provides an opportunity to celebrate and honor one's unique story, as well as provide families and friends a touchstone, through writing, audio, video, letters, memory box, and more. Through creating a Legacy Project, one is inspired to connect with something bigger than themselves, gain a greater sense of purpose, find inner peace and control while deepening the exploration of life. A Legacy is more than what we leave behind - It is how we live our lives as we wish to be remembered.
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