A Good Death By Karyn Cowan
This may not be an everyday topic of conversation , but in these challenging times of the global pandemic , many people have told me that they have thought more about possibly dying , or a loved one passing , and what would give them comfort if they were told by doctors they had limited time left . As a trained End of Life Doula , I have therefore been asked several times about what I do .
Also known as a Death Midwife , End of Life Companion or Transition Guide , an End of Life Doula is a non-medical professional trained to care for a terminally ill person ’ s physical , emotional and spiritual needs during the patient ’ s final days . They also help families and loved ones to cope through support and guidance during the transition .
The idea of a good death grounds itself as the driving modern movement for hospices globally . It includes concepts that the transition to death be made as peaceful , gentle and pain-free as possible . Researcher Erica Borgstrom , along with Cotterel and Dugeby , categorises a good death around the following ideals :
• Acceptance , understanding and awareness of impending death .
• Knowing estimated timelines so one feels prepared .
• Having closure regarding unresolved life issues by addressing them as best as possible .
• The presence of loved ones as well as having comfort and peacefulness .
• Having one ’ s needs , personal preferences and dying wishes addressed .
In Times of COVID-19
How do we apply these concepts ? With so many people currently succumbing to the COVID virus “ way before their time ,” it is challenging the way we traditionally grapple with the idea of how our own death will happen one day . It is also hard to mentally reconcile the idea that our loved ones may end up dying alone in a hospital bed . With COVID also being a contagion , it also challenges the norms of how society and certain cultures would treat a dead body or hold a funeral .
An End of Life Doula can assist anyone at any stage of life , set up a portfolio to ensure that if they contract COVID and are hospitalised , their family and loved ones are aware of their end of life choices . A copy of this portfolio can be given to a family member , friend or medical doctor for safe keeping .
The list of interventions that an End of Life Doula can perform in the time of COVID-19 , before and after death include :
• Setting up advance directives , which fall into three categories : Living will , power of attorney and healthcare proxy . It also includes a variety of questions that deal with different aspects of choices that can be made personally beforehand .
• Departure plans regarding potential hospitalisation or fatality , such as caretaking of animals .
• Bucket lists , trauma releasing and facilitating completing “ unfinished business .”
• Saved video or voice recordings with the above details for further validation .
• Facilitation of “ tough conversations .”
• Videos , voice recordings , messages or letters written to specific people to receive when one is dying or has passed on .
• Help to reduce the fear or anxiety of death .
• Funeral wishes and facilitation of virtual memorials for the family .
• Grief and bereavement counselling for family .
• Setting up a supportive network of multidisciplinary professionals in the medical and holistic field .
It is important to remember that even in tough times , we can still empower ourselves and our loved ones . For a referral of an End of Life Doula to assist you or your family , you can reach out to myself on 082 451 5387 or Keshnie on 061 462 7419 . To train to become an End of Life Doula , please visit www . wellnessspecialist . co . za .
Karyn Cowan is the owner of In Touch Wellness and a partner at Bedford Wellness Centre . She is a massage therapy specialist , palliative care worker and end of life Doula . Karyn advocates holistic wellness , which includes aspects of mental , physical and emotional health around sport , pregnancy , terminal care , stress management and life transitions . Find out more at www . intouchwellness . co . za , or go to Instagram : in _ touch _ wellness , or Facebook : In Touch Wellness .
Image : Bigstock
By Logan Coleman
You can watch a video demonstrating the various drills here
Supersets are a great way to maximise your time in the gym , doing 2 exercises back to back , followed by a short rest , to effectively double the amount of work you are doing whilst keeping the recovery period the same as when you complete individual exercises . Here are some of my favourites . Superset 1 : 4x20 dumbbell glute thrusts AND 4x20 single leg glute thrusts . Superset 2 : 4x30 up & overs ( each leg ) AND 4x15 single leg deadlifts . Superset 3 : 4x15 dumbell glute kickback AND 15x kickback up & over . Superset 4 : 5x15 ab pike knee tuck AND 5x15 high plank side to side .
Logan Coleman is the sole owner of Logan Coleman Fitness and says her mission is to help women achieve their goals through balanced eating plans as well as awesome training plans . She has a specialised nutrition qualification from Trifocus and has worked in a boutique gym . She believes in making plans simple to follow , delicious , and most importantly , to fit into one ’ s lifestyle . More about her at www . logancoleman . com .
58 ISSUE 143 JULY 2021 / www . modernathlete . co . za