End-of-life doulas listen and provide support. Taking advantage of their availability and skills, NHPCO’s EOL Doula Advisory Council created the COVID Grief Support Program to help anyone who has been affected with a loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this program, trained and vetted volunteer doulas engage in free, confidential and private one-on-one hour-long calls for four weeks with those seeking this service.
“An end-of-life doula is akin to a birth doula or midwife. End of life doulas are trained in preparing for death, holding vigil at the bedside, assisting with ritual and memorials following a death and supporting people through grief,” said Arlene Stepputat, of Santa Barbara, a retired hospice staff member, death educator, end of life doula, and member of the EOL Council.
Losing a loved one, a job, or suffering long-term effects due to COVID is a uniquely difficult experience. If you or someone you know is grieving due to loss resulting from the pandemic and could benefit from talking with a compassionate end-of-life doula, please visit www.nhpco.org/doula-grief-support for more information or to fill out the online form to register for the program.
Marina McGough, Chair of the EOL Doula Council and National Director of Volunteer Services for Ascent Health said, “Following a successful pilot project, the EOL Doula Council is making a special effort to reach out to populations disproportionately affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that those within the hospice and palliative care community will share this valuable resource with their communities as well as help raise awareness of this program as a resource to all who may need support.”
Visit the NHPCO website’s EOL Doula page to learn more about the work of End-of-Life Doulas and to find links to a series of blogs written by Council members.