Whole Person End of Life Care: Improving Joy in Caregiving & Triple Aim in Health Care

Whole Person End of Life Care: Be Whole | Be Held| Be Healing

How might Whole Person End of Life Education and Care increase JOY in Caregivers and increase the Triple Aim Goals in Health Care Improvement?

The answer is simple and profound. Each of us is a whole being composed of shared and unique spiritual, emotional, physical, intellectual, practical human desires, needs, and gifts.

During end of life transitions, some or all of our spiritual, emotional, physical, intellectual, and practical needs and gifts may come to the fore . Whether equipped to handle these needs or not, caregivers are faced with navigating and supporting whole patients, whole systems, whole families. And how well they navigate, connect, communicate and comfort patients beyond medical technical care matters. What matters is how the caregiver feels about their connection and relationship with the patient. What matters at the beginning, middle and end of an interaction, is "Do I Feel I made a Difference? Did my presence matter?" If the answer is yes, then I believe there will be joy in the heart of the caregiver, patient, and family. If the answer is yes, then the goals of the triple aim in healthcare are likely to be met: Quality Care, Patient Satisfaction, and most efficient cost of care. But if the answer is no, I don't feel i made a difference, then it is easy to understand the negative experiences of caregivers discussed in the excerpt from the article below.

In Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s White Paper, “Improving Joy in Work” by  authors Perlo J, Balik B, Swensen S, Kabcenell A, Landsman J, Feeley D. say: “With increasing demands on time, resources, and energy, in addition to poorly designed systems of daily work, it’s not surprising health care professionals are experiencing burnout at increasingly higher rates, with staff turnover rates also on the rise. Yet, joy in work is more than just the absence of burnout or an issue of individual wellness; it is a system property.”

"Burnout leads to lower levels of staff engagement, patient experience, and productivity, and an increased risk of workplace accidents. Lower levels of staff engagement are linked with lower-quality patient care, including safety, and burnout limits providers’ empathy — a crucial component of effective and person-centered care.

Burnout and staff turnover in health care continue to rise at alarming rates. So, what can health care leaders do to counteract this epidemic?"

I believe when Caregivers experience renewal of purpose, self care and nurturance, and increased awareness of their innate healing gifts and talents, they are MORE WHOLE themselves. They may feel more JOY in their caregiving because they have more access to the multi-dimentionality as a human being. They can tap into their innate healing gifts and offer these to the patients and families.

Caregivers who receive whole person end of life education and care may feel more connected to themselves and to the patients and families they serve.

They may feel more alive, greater job satisfaction, and understand the direct connection they have to improving patient care and satisfaction. They may experience an immediate, positive effect in the lives of everyone they come in contact with.

End of Life Doula Education offered through the Conscious Dying Institute restores our true purpose and our capacity to attend to self and others with wholeness, care and love in all domains of life.  It renews the innate healing gifts and talents of caregivers, making it natural and easy to offer Whole Being Care. How does this happen?

Through live music, restorative practices for life and death, community and individual grief and forgiveness circles, participants heal their own sense of separation and isolation from life. Faith in life is renewed, loving relationships restored, and the experience of the transformative healing potential of death is grounded and embodied in each student. 

When Caregivers receive nurturance and emotional and spiritual attention needed to experience their own healing, this increases self-care and self-love.

The transpersonal, experiential learning modalities and practices offered in the Sacred Passage: End of Life Doula Certificate brings the caregiver into a deeper understanding of and peace with his or her own mortality. After all, it is hard to comfort the dying if we haven’t faced our own fear.  From this place of greater self-understanding and self care, there is a far greater capacity for holding one another, listening attentively, being open and honest, communicating honestly and compassionately so that we can face death, experience forgiveness and increase love.

The Sacred Passage Doula Certificate Program prepares caregivers from all disciplines and care settings to befriend death, surrender and trust deeply in each moment and restore death to its sacred place in the beauty, mystery and celebration of life. It builds communities of care and healing, benefiting all those involved in care and healing during critical illness and at end of life.

End of Life Doula Education supports achieving the "Triple Aim" in Healthcare by focusing on Care and Healing at End of Life.

The IHI Triple Aim is a framework developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement that describes an approach to optimizing health system performance. Conscious Dying Education and Care answers the national, ethical, and cultural imperatives to develop new designs for health at end of life --simultaneously pursuing three dimensions identified by IHI-- called the “Triple Aim”:

  • Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction);
  • Improving the health of populations (systems, cities, organizations, families, communities)
  • Reducing the per capita cost of health care.

Our Graduates' new depth of spiritual awareness, physical embodiment and attunement, emotional intelligence and empathy create a new culture of care and healing at end of life becoming the next great revolution in healthcare, a revolution capable of increasing the evolution of human consciousness-a potential that is heightened when people understand that their life nears an ending.

It is possible to experience the fullness of life and the promise held within the DNA of 'Death'. Death's encoding holds within it a transformational portal for not only the one who is preparing to leave this earth but for all involved in the dying process.

Graduates become a part of a new culture of care and healing-the careforce who positively improve end of life patient satisfaction and care, improve the health of families and ultimately communities, and supports reduction in extreme, futile "Life at All Costs Care". The healing care of an End of Life Doula goes beyond do no harm toward care and healing for all positively contributing to the evolution of all human consciousness.