A gentle guide for end of life care aimed at families and caregivers.
CARING FOR THE DYING describes a whole new way to approach death and dying. It explores how the dying and their families can bring deep meaning and great comfort to the care given at the end of a life. Created by Henry Fersko-Weiss, the end-of-life doula model is adapted from the work of birth doulas and helps the dying to find meaning in their life, express that meaning in powerful and beautiful legacies, and plan for the final days. The approach calls for around-the-clock vigil care, so the dying person and their family have the emotional and spiritual support they need along with guidance on signs and symptoms of dying. It also covers the work of reprocessing a death with the family afterward and the early work of grieving.
Emphasis is placed on the space around the dying person and encourages the use of touch, guided imagery, and ritual during the dying process. Throughout the book Fersko-Weiss tells amazing and encouraging stories of the people he has cared for, as well as stories that come from doulas he has trained and worked with over the years.
The guidance provided can help a dying person, their family, and caregivers to transform the dying experience from one of fear and despair into one that is uplifting and even life affirming. You will see death in a new light and gain a different perspective on how to help the dying. It may even change the way you live your life right now.
Henry Fersko-Weiss, LCSW, is the president of the International End-of-Life Doula Association. In 2003, Henry created the very first End-of-Life Doula Program in the United States at a hospice in NYC and has built and managed many other programs based on his model. His work has been featured in the New York Times.