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Source: Photos by Tracy Jack

End of Life Doula, Kim Somerville, joins NurseWatch

NurseWatch now has a fully-trained End of Life Doula on staff who can help you through the difficult transition of a loved one dying. Her name is Kim Somerville and she’s an expert in this area so she can help you through this difficult time.

Kim takes her role as an End of Life Doula very seriously and in her own words here she sums up just how important it is to be there for your loved one as they go through this transition: “While it is more exciting to celebrate a person's first breath, it is just as important to comfort their last.”

Kim says she’s always felt comfortable around death and dying and caring for those approaching the end of their life. She adds: “Providing support to the person directly and their loved ones is something that I have loved immensely. I view the final stages of life to be extremely precious and sacred, and I am always honoured to be welcomed into that close unit at such a raw and emotional time.”

You can book a session with Kim by visiting NurseWatch’s online booking platform here.

Kim has an extensive background in this area, having worked as an Enrolled Nurse in Palliative Care for 15 years at Calvary Hospital in Kogarah. With the additional training she now has as an End of Life Doula, Kim is able to bring her experience to the situation, letting families know all of their options and providing any other information needed.

“A doula’s support can relieve stress and burdensome tasks from the family and also gives the dying individual psychological, spiritual and emotional support during the process,” explains Kim. “We are here to ensure that individuals and their families do not feel alone or isolated.”

End of Life Doulas accompany the individual and their loved ones through the final months, weeks and days of life – right up until the time death occurs, as well as after death care and into the deep mourning process. This support can be at home or within a hospital or aged care facility.

“Presence is the foundation for everything we do. Emotional support, active listening and creation of a peaceful environment are all of the utmost importance,” Kim adds.

How can we prepare for death?

Kim explains that death is a situation where we cannot be completely prepared even though it is a natural and unavoidable part of life. “Many people have not had much experience with people close to them dying, and because of this there is often a lot of fear, questions and uncertainty,” Kim explains.

“My role is to be a non-medical presence for the dying person, as well as their family and loved ones. I provide support, education, compassion, and options, allowing the individual to have their death unfold in alignment with their wishes. I believe every person should feel safe, supported and guided during this important transition,” she adds.

Whether you or your loved one are planning for a home death, or a death within a hospital or aged care facility, Kim will work with you to create a calm and peaceful environment for this time.

“In my time working in palliative care, I really wished I could just sit down with the families and have a conversation with them. I could see the issues and I knew I could help so that’s how I’ve ended up in this role,” Kim explains.

Having open conversations about the end of life

“Now, in my role as End of Life Doula, I can facilitate open conversations about the end of life so we can make plans and this eases stress, anxiety, and confusion, and allows for a sense of peace and comfort knowing the discussions have been had. We can work together to ensure all your legal documents are up to date which ensures all your care wishes are fulfilled and known such as the person’s Advance Care Directive etc.,” she adds

“I can help with funeral planning as well. Often at this time people are emotional and I can be there for them. I’m not limited in my time like a nurse can be,” Kim adds.

“I would love to share my experience and knowledge with you, enabling a holistic approach to the end of life. My mission is to help others recognise death as a natural part of life that can be a very special and beautiful experience,” she says.

You can book a session with Kim by visiting NurseWatch’s online booking platform here.

KIM’s QUALIFICATIONS
Enrolled Nurse
Certified End of Life Doula, Preparing the Way with Helen Callanan
‘Deathwalker Training’, The Natural Death Care Centre with Zenith Virago
Member of The Australian Doula College
Member of The National Death Advocacy Network
First Aid Certificate
Public Liability Insurance
Police & Working with Children Checks