What is an End of Life Doula?
A Doula is a person trained to provide advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort. Birth doulas have been around for centuries providing emotional, physical, and educational support to pregnant women to enable a safe, memorable and empowering birth experience.
An End of Life Doula (EOLD) is a non-medical person trained to care for patients and families through a terminal illness, death and into the bereavement period. End of life Doulas are also known as midwives for the soul, transition guides, death doulas and end of life coaches.
The National End-of-Life Doula Alliance (NEDA) has established core competencies to define the skills and knowledge requirements needed to demonstrate proficiency. Linda has completed the exam and is NEDA proficient. http://www.nedalliance.org
Doesn’t Hospice provide the end of life care?
Hospice is an amazing organization providing a team of skilled professionals to patients and families. Hospice assists and educates the family but given the increasing care needs of the dying patients, the family is left at times with the overwhelming task of providing 24-hour care. Doulas fill in the gaps, providing ample time to support the family in caregiving, bringing meaning to the dying experience and preserving the sacredness of the dying process. An EOLD can serve as an adjunct to Hospice and providing support and guidance for patients and families at the end of life. EOLDs can work with a patient/family even before they are eligible for hospice.
The National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) supports EOLD and has an End of Life Doula Advisory Council. https://www.nhpco.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Doulas_NHPCO-info.pdf
What is an End of Life Doula not able to do?
The EOLD does not perform any clinical skills such as vital signs or administering medications.
The EOLD does not provide medical advice or make any decisions about end of life care.
The EOLD does not take the place of hospice or other care provider. They work alongside other providers, following and reinforcing established plans for care.
The EOLD does not project their own beliefs and will always remain non-judgmental.
Does insurance cover the cost?
EOLD services are not covered by insurance. There are a variety of services available. Please be in touch for a free initial 45-minute phone consultation. .
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