Awareness of End-of-Life Doulas is Increasing

Categories: Care, Featured, and In The Media.

Recent articles in the media are raising awareness of the valuable role that End-0f-Life Doulas can play in the provision of hospice care in the U.S.

Separate articles published on April 11, 2022 in USA TODAY and HOSPICE NEWS provide helpful insight.

USA TODAY focused on the overall increasing awareness of death and dying and explored some of the ways the experience at the end of life is becoming more normalized.  In the article, “From virtual reality afterlife games to death doulas: Is our view of dying finally changing?” journalist Sara M Moniuszko emphasizes the support that can be found for those who are dying, which is something shared by all people.  Moniuszko writes, “There’s also been a rise in personalized care and grieving options. Take death doulas: someone who helps people at the end of their life with dying, just like birth doulas help at the beginning of life.”

In the article published by HOSPICE NEWS, “Pandemic Pushes Death Doula Awareness, Hospices Seek Strengthened Ties,” journalist Holly Vossel examines the way that End-of-Life Doulas can bring value to hospice providers as well as augment the care and support provided to patients and families in a positive way. Vossel writes, “Demand for end-of-life doulas (EOLD) has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the high rates of mortality and increased awareness of their services. In tandem, some hospices have recognized opportunities to collaborate with EOLDs. For one, “death doulas” can help educate patients and families about the benefits of hospice, dispelling some of the misconceptions that make them reluctant to seek that care.”

“Death doulas provide physical, emotional, spiritual and practical non-medical support during the dying process. EOLDs facilitate conversations regarding the dying process, discussing advance care planning, hospice election and advocate for the person’s wishes in their final days.”

Vossel quotes members of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s End-of-Life Doula Advisory Council that was created in 2018 to help providers in the field better understand the work of EOLDs. “Despite the upswing in awareness, more opportunities exist for hospices and doulas to work together, according to Marina McGough, chair of the NHPCO EOL Doula Council and national director of volunteer services at Ascend Health, a New Jersey-based home health, hospice and palliative care provider.”

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