Angela’s Origin Story
I was introduced to the eldercare and hospice industry in 2014 when I took a job as a scheduler and recruiting manager for an Indianapolis non-medical home care company. I was drawn to the work of non-medical support because of my own experience as a young caregiver for my mother and my younger disabled brother.
Later, I was recruited by a large hospice organization to serve as a Patient Care Coordinator. I was drawn to work in the hospice industry after personally navigating my mother’s cancer diagnosis, chemotherapy treatments, surgeries, ER visits and steady decline that eventually forced me to make the difficult decision to call hospice.
My mother’s death was very difficult and I spent most of my 20’s navigating my own journey through complex feelings of grief, frustration and down right anger.
Just a few months after her death I attended community college, with no idea of what I was passionate about doing. I took an elective yoga class where I slowly learned how to tap into and connect with my body and my inner voice. I was still caregiving for my brother and needed to find a healthy way to keep my focus on his needs while still honoring my own. It was at this time that I began receiving an occasional massage and that really helped me get a better night’s sleep and reduced some of the stress and anxiety I was feeling.
Eventually, my professional role in hospice care involved providing education about the hospice medicare benefit to physicians, oncologists, hospitals and senior living communities. I have sat across the table with many scared and overwhelmed people trying to navigate the end of life care system. My passion was leading them through the process of understanding palliative and hospice care, and why it can be an additional support for a person facing a terminal illness and their loved ones.
As passionate as I was about my work in hospice care, I also started feeling conflicted. I often felt that I was limited to the amount of support that I could provide. I knew these families would be in great hands with hospice but also identified where possible gaps in care were present. This is what led me to explore additional training in gentle touch massage therapy and end of life doula work.
It is an honour and privilege to share my experience and deep knowledge of our care systems with you and your family as you embark on this new and uncertain journey. I look forward to meeting you and learning how I can be of service.
Angela Dawn Hershey is a Comfort Care Provider passionate about providing non-medical end of life comfort care and supporting clients and families throughout the end of life journey and early grief/bereavement. She has served hundreds of patients and families since her start in the senior care industry in 2014 by providing end of life education and support to individuals navigating serious illness and their caregivers.
The primary vision for Angela’s work is to hold space for the moments in our lives that are often rushed through. She developed a deep passion for supporting others navigating life’s difficult transitions following her own journey of healing after death, loss and grief. Angela found refuge in self-care through modalities such as yoga, energy work and massage therapy which supported her throughout her personal healing process.
Angela believes in providing a safe and nurturing space where her clients can slowly begin to integrate pieces of themselves back into wholeness. She believes we all have the ability to heal ourselves and to also be a respite to ourselves and our communities.
Angela Dawn Hershey, CMT is a certified massage therapist with a focus on geriatric and hospice massage and gentle touch. She received her continuing education from the Daybreak Geriatric Massage Institute. Angela has received on-going training and mentorship from Irene Smith/Everflowing Hospice Massage training. Angela is Reiki Level I certified and has received training in massage for grief support from the Institute for Grief Massage. Angela is a Doulagiver’s certified end of life doula. Angela has worked professionally in the areas of hospice/palliative care, elder care, and geriatric mental health field.
Memberships and Affiliations
Active member of the National Home Funeral Alliance
Creator of the Indy End of Life Collective facebook page and private group dedicated to accessible community end of life resources and education.
End of Life Doula/Midwife Training
It is important to note that there are currently no national regulatory bodies for Death Doulas/ Midwives.
Successfully completed 30 hours of death midwifery training covering a multitude of aspects of the dying process, home funerals/community deathcare, body blessing, shrouding and alternatives to traditional deathcare and supporting grievers.
These trainings cover consulting with healthy adults, working specifically with the elderly, as well as non-medical skills that help support during the final phase of life.
48 hrs of Massage Therapist continuing education specifically designed for safely working with older adults from robust to frail trained by renowned trainer Sharon Puszko PhD, LMT.
Institute of Grief Massage, Massage Therapy for Grievers
24 hours of continuing education to learn how to support grievers by offering assisted relaxation techniques via safe and effective massage therapy.
“Words cannot express how much you have helped me along my journey. I have deeply enjoyed receiving your gentle massages and kind, loving presence. I am so grateful you have been a part of my life and I wish you all of the best.”
“My parents love you, besides physical relief for dad….they both said mentally...they feel better when you are there to see them. You’re an angel.”
“Angela has helped me immensely for over 2 years, offering massage therapy that helps manage symptoms of my Cerebral Palsy. She listens and really cares. I truly trust her.”
“The girls said she (client) is MUCH more at peace as of yesterday after your visit! Thank you for going to see her so quickly! It was impactful!”
– Heritage Hospice
“My grandma passed on Friday morning but I wanted to say thank you so much for what you did and do. You helped make her last days better. It was the first time I've seen her smile that big in awhile :).”
– Anonymous hospice client
“Angela is compassionate and professional. As a visionary, she has made an incredible impact on the aging population and those in hospice. It has been a privilege to know her and see her goodness towards all. The benefits of her work provide such care, compassion, and quality of life in the end stages.”
“Angela provides a gentle therapeutic massage. My mom often says that Angela’s touch feels like rose petals; she is caring and kind in her mannerisms and nature. Always respectful and empathetic, we are thankful for Angela’s role in my mother’s care.”
“I love working with Angela! Her services are truly one of a kind and it’s so nice to have an expert in this field to ask questions and be able to gain peace of mind from!”