Women often hire doulas to assist them during childbirth and shortly thereafter.
Typically, doulas focus on helping someone enter the world rather than leave it. Carmel resident Tobi Mares is a transitional life coach and an end-of-life doula. She offers assistance for people dealing with imminent death.
“I call myself a transitional coach,” Mares said. “I have a master’s in life coaching and human services counseling. When I started on that journey five years ago I was simultaneously getting involved in end-of-life care. I lost a lot of close people to me, and it just wasn’t an ideal situation. I was on a mission to figure out you can make it better.”
Mares works with people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
“That’s the moment when I come in and support the clients, family and loved ones through three different phases,” Mares said. “The shock phase, the stabilization phase and the final transition phase. I support emotionally, informationally, spiritually.”
Her services differ from hospice care.
“I develop a relationship with the client first and foremost,” Mares said. “I help design their vision of how they want to spend the final days, weeks and months of their lives. I create legacy projects. I write letters. It really fills the gap of hospice.”
Mares also advocates for the patient.
“Families don’t always know what to expect,” Mares said. “I’m that extra person who is there to honor and protect the integrity of the client all the way up until the last breath.”
Mares owns Full Circle Transitional Coaching and Doulagivers of the Midwest. She also hosts a monthly death cafe facilitating discussions about death. For more, visit facebook.com/doulagiversmidwest/ or facebook.com/Death-Cafe-North-Indianapolis-873381022834882/?modal=admin_todo_tour.