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End Of Life Doulas Becoming Growing Trend To Ease The Final Passing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A growing new trend is making the final passing as easy and peaceful as possible with the help of a specially trained person.

We're not talking about hospice, which often helps with end of life medication and people who are medically trained. This new trend uses doulas. They aren't just for giving birth anymore. They are helping families through death also.

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At 87, Anne Zinsser is a happy mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, but she knows that she won't live forever. "It happens to everybody and so it's okay," Zinsser said.

The retired teacher asked her daughter to get training so when the time comes, Lisa can help her through her final days. "I totally understood mom wanting to die peacefully," Lisa Whip said.

Last summer, she took a course to become an end of life doula.

Suzanne O'Brien is an oncology nurse who now trains doulas to provide comfort and support in those final days. "It is possible to have a beautiful end of life," O'Brien said. Doulas are usually associated with child-birth. They're woman who are trained to assist during delivery.

They can also provide support to the family after the baby is born.

End of life doulas are often called in with hospice care to help the patient die with dignity. They don't need a medical background and the training course only takes a few days.

Lisa says her mom is going strong so far. Both have peace of mind that Lisa will know what to do when the time comes.

End of life doulas also provide support to families after their loved one passes away.

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