Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Death Doula or Death Midwife?

A doula provides information, support, guidance, spiritual care, rituals and be a companion to the dying and their family.

What are the essential preparations any 18 year old should make?

Any person over 18 years should have their documentation and financials in order. This includes making a legal will, appointing an Enduring Power of Attorney (in case you are unable to make decisions or sign documents), appointing someone to be your Enduring Guardian, (in case you cannot make your own health decisions), and making an Advance Care Directive ( so people know what and how to proceed in making health decisions in an emergency).

What is a Will?

A Will sets out who will receive your assets when you die.

NSW government link here.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to manage your financial affairs.

NSW government link here.

What is an Advance Care Directive

This is a document or recorded set of wishes for the patient’s health care. In NSW there is a prepared form and information for this, using this link.

Other states may have to access other sites for further detail.

What is an Enduring Guardian?

An Enduring Guardian can make health and lifestyle decisions for you if you lose the capacity to make your own decisions at some time in the future.

NSW government link here.

What is an emotional will?

An emotional will is to leave your story beyond your legal will. It may include favourite music, favourite books, the story of how a child was named. It can include any anecdote or reflection you might want to leave your friends or family. It is a personal document, so fill it with anything you might like to tell future generations.

The Bottom Drawer Book is one example of recording this.

What is Palliative Care?

From Palliative Care Australia:

Palliative care is care that helps people live their life as fully and as comfortably as possible when living with a life-limiting or terminal illness.

Palliative care identifies and treats symptoms which may be physical, emotional, spiritual or social. Because palliative care is based on individual needs, the services offered will differ but may include:

  • Relief of pain and other symptoms e.g. vomiting, shortness of breath
  • Resources such as equipment needed to aid care at home
  • Assistance for families to come together to talk about sensitive issues
  • Links to other services such as home help and financial support
  • Support for people to meet cultural obligations
  • Support for emotional, social and spiritual concerns
  • Counselling and grief support
  • Referrals to respite care services

Palliative care is a family-centred model of care, meaning that family and carers can receive practical and emotional support.

How did I get into this line of work?

I had been working in Adult Education for 30 years, until an extreme stress event, Transient Global Amnesia, hit me in February 2017. It made me change my life focus in helping me recognise myself as a mortal being. I have since felt called to work in this end-of-life area to encourage death literacy and to help others realise we humans are in transit, and it might just be a beautiful journey.

I have been training to be a Pastoral Care Chaplain (non-religious) at John Hunter Hospital to better serve people at the ends of their lives.

I have been learning to sing on the Threshold with Central Coast Threshold Choir. This beautiful singing from the heart to people at the end of life is a profound experience. Singing gentle simple songs provides peace and tranquility for the patients. It is amazing.

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