What is an End of Life Doula?

An End of Life Doula is a non-medical professional who provides support to the dying and those who care for and about them. Just as Birth Doulas provide support to ease the process of childbirth, End of Life Doulas provide support to ease the process of dying.

What does non-medical mean?

End of Life Doulas are not licensed to diagnose or provide medical care such as drawing or preparing and administering medication. We also do not perform tasks that a caregiver or member of a health care team would, such as feeding, toileting, bathing and transferring.

Why would I hire an End of Life Doula?

When facing end of life, whether it’s you or someone close, End of Life Doulas provide a calm, comforting presence in this often turbulent time when emotions are raw. We are knowledgeable, experienced guides who accompany the dying and their family throughout the entire process, compassionately dispelling fear along the way. As a result, the experience is deeply enriched for everyone involved.

Is the dying person always the client?

I may be hired directly by the dying person, a caregiver, a family member or a close friend. The person who hires me is the client, no matter who the support is for. For example, a husband caregiver may hire me to support his dying wife. The husband is my client and although he receives support as well, I am hired to fully support his wife.

Are End of Life Doula services covered by health insurance?

While the cost of services is not covered by Alberta Health Services or Blue Cross, there are some private insurance companies that do offer coverage. Typically however, payment for services rendered is the responsibility of the client.

Are you affiliated with any religion? What practices could be expected?

I am not affiliated with any one religion and provide non-denominational support. I respect others’ beliefs and am happy to facilitate any rituals, practices and/or traditions, where possible.

How soon after the initial consultation call will a visit be scheduled?

Visits are scheduled within 24 – 48 hours of the initial consultation call.

Does a terminal diagnosis relate only to cancer?

A terminal diagnosis does not relate to cancer only.  Examples of other diseases and conditions that one may have received a terminal diagnosis are:

  • Cardiovascular (CHF – congestive heart failure);
  • Pulmonary (COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease);
  • Respiratory (Covid-19);
  • AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome);
  • ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis);
  • Stroke;
  • Organ failure;
  • Coma.