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End of Life doula of Lander partners with medical clinics to educate on life and death options

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 11:55 PM CST
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FREMONT COUNTY, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

With Covid restrictions blocking many people from being with their loved ones while they pass, the topic of bringing the terminally ill patient home to pass away surrounded by loved ones, is one that hospice and this caregiver know all about.

Community Relations Liaison for Frontier Home Health and Hospice in Fremont County, Tara Carr stated, “Especially in the time of Covid, a lot of people are dying in the hospital without their family members around them with cancer, or COPD, or heart issues. This is a way to get them back in the home and have them pass on their own terms.”

Doula is a Greek word that means ‘a woman who serves.’ People may have heard of a birth doula, but an End of Life Doula supports people at the other end of the spectrum. Liz Lightner was doing hospice care for seven years, and she started the Led by Liz end of life doula program last year when so many hospice services couldn’t be done in person. Lightner said, “It’s about education awareness, reducing the stigma around death because it’s 100% guaranteed for 100% of us, so let’s not ignore that fact.”

Lightner noted it’s about supporting a person holistically, “Physically, spiritually, emotionally, to support and guide a person and their loved ones through this experience. It’s before, during, and after death so that they may have the most loving, peaceful, painless experience possible.”

Liz added that many families haven’t had the hard conversations with one another, and she can be a mediator to facilitate those conversations. There are so many choices, and she tries to teach people all their options. “Or maybe your choice is I don’t care what you do, that’s a choice too, but it takes the burden off the family later to have to try to figure that out for you,” stated Lightner.

Liz partnered with Lander Medical Clinic and Frontier Home Health and Hospice to start providing a free virtual training to let people know their options.

Carr stated, “Hospice and intervention, most people hear that word and they are terrified. They think it’s that we are giving up and that’s not the case at all. It’s an interdisciplinary approach.” Carr noted that a benefit to this partnership with Liz is that the community can become aware of the people and places they can go to for help. “Having those conversations ahead of time, so when they happen, it’s not something to be scared of. It is a natural process. Dying is a natural process, it’s not a medical emergency,” emphasized Lightner.

The 12-month virtual training series kicks off this Thursday via Zoom. To sign up, or for more information, email Liz at ledbyliz@gmail.com  Her Facebook is: LEDwithLove. and her website is www.ledbyliz.com.

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