Registration for ‘Death Doulas’ event to wrap up on Wednesday; 4 seats left

Allison Little, Staff Reporter

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The signup for the Academy of Lifelong Learning event “Death Doulas: End of Life Role” will end Wednesday.

There are currently four seats left, and those interested in attending should contact the Academy of Lifelong Learning at 581-5114 to register for a seat.

The event will focus on the role of death doulas, in-home caretakers who provide end-of-life services.

“Death doulas provide a number of different services to the patient or client, and a lot of it is finding out what the patient or client wants and serving as an intermediary for the family to advocate for the client,” said Marita Metzke, the director of the Academy of Lifelong Learning.

Metzke said the idea for the event came from an article she read in the magazine Today’s Geriatric Medicine.

“On the cover of a recent issue was an article about the end-of-life doula movement,” Metzke said. “So I got thinking about what this meant, and I read the article and I thought because we had recently talked to someone from hospice that this might be a good companion to that topic.”

Metzke said that she thinks the topic of the presentation is relevant to a cultural shift toward in-home death care.

“I think it’s a very interesting service that’s very helpful for families as we move more into dying at home which is certainly the current trend, instead of in a facility or hospital,” Metzke said.

The speaker for the event is Sheila Greuel, a former Eastern professor.

Greuel left the university to start her own business called Covenant Transitions, which focuses on helping people manage aging.

“There’s a great need for that as we live further away from our kids and our parents, and family isn’t always the first resource,” Metzke said.

During the event there will also be a Q&A with hospice care worker Michelle Matteson, who also has experience being a death doula.

Metzke said she believes the Q&A will foster an interesting discussion at the event.

Death Doulas: End of Life Role will be from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in room 2116 of Blair Hall Thursday.

Allison Little can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].