What is an End of Life Mentor?




In the dying process of a loved one, family member, close friend or partner, we find that we need as much support as can be available. There is also the opportunity for expressing and sharing of love, grace, beautiful moments, sacred space, wrapping up unfinished business and more.

An End of Life Mentor is a death and dying expert who serves as a personal resource. This is someone who supports as needed—relieves stress, answers the tough questions, interfaces with medical professionals, translates medical lingo, runs errands if needed, or fills in so that a caregiver can take a deep breath or get a good night’s sleep. This is someone who can be there to “have your back” when in that state of emotional overwhelm that often happens when someone close to us is dying.

An End of Life Mentor can: 1) work alongside hospice, 2) offer support in place of hospice for those who don’t want to utilize hospice or admit they are dying, 3) offer vigiling—sitting for many hours with the dying person at the very end of life, typically the last two or three days.

Hospice is a wonderful service and should always be encouraged when death is something that can no longer be denied. However, after the first week or two, the amount of time and attention a hospice can spend on any given patient becomes limited. There are many situations that warrant larger chunks of time spent in supporting the family, caregivers, etc. than a hospice can cover. This is when hiring an independent End of Life Mentor (also referred to as a Death Doula, Soul Midwife or End of Life Guide) can be of great comfort to the dying person, family, friends, caregivers and anyone involved in this precious time at the end of a life.

End of Life Mentors are experienced, trained and certified in end of life issues, ranging from knowledge of advanced directives, the dying process, how to calm and comfort, leading meditations and more.

Danielle Dvorak first felt the call to work with those at the end of their lives over 20 years ago, and has since spent many years supporting family and working with hospice in assisting the dying, their families and caregivers. Recently, Dvorak completed a training in accompanying the dying, resulting in a certificate as an End of Life Mentor. Connect at 847-323-9188, Danielle@EndOfLifeMentor.com or EndOfLifeMentor.com. See ad, page 23.

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