"The New York Times recently had an article about Death Doulas. It's wonderful to see that this profession is getting recognized by industries, such as the NYT.
As you will read, "End-of-life doulas support people emotionally, physically, spiritually and practically".
“In our culture, we go overboard preparing for birth, but ‘hope for the best’ at the end of life,”
End-of-life is one of the most impactful and powerful experiences in our lives. Do not leave this last part of your journey to chance, or for others to decide what you want medically or spiritually.
Reach out to a Death Doula, for there are many that can help you navigate this road. I've have been in practice for over 4 years, and have numerous training and certifications.
Please see a list of my "services", and "what is a death doula" to gain a better understanding how I can help you and your family.
This article brings up the point, that for most, dying an institutionalized death is something most of us will experience.
David Dodwell, references Dr. Atul Gawande's book, Being Mortal, in which Dr. Gawande speaks about even with modern medicine, we, as a society, have lost the art of dying.
"It is a final phase that is nowadays rarely spent at home surrounded by a caring family, but in a nursing home – safe, but regimented and full of impersonal routines that cut off all the things an older person cares about, empty of friendships, privacy and a purpose in each day".
"But, as old age has become more common, so our capacity to deal with death in old age seems to have deteriorated".
For most of us, we assume that we will make it to "old age", although there are no guarantees. If we do make it, have we made the necessary plans to live out our old age? Have we taken the time needed to look at what our wishes and goals are for when we age? Have we been proactive, and carefully looked at what's important to us, and how to achieve these goals?
We need to start having the conversations, so we can be prepared, the best we can, and bring our loved ones into the conversations, so they understand wishes for old age and dying.
Begin your conversations now.
It was in 2017 when I first met Deanna as I had signed up for her CareDoula Certification Program. I was immediately struck by her authenticity, compassion and eagerness to help those of us (End-of-Life Doula's wanna-be's) that had signed up for her certification program.
During this intense program, Deanna instilled all of her amazing tools, to me (and others) and always said that as EOL Doula's, we need to conduct ourselves above what is expected, as we get the honor of bringing experiences and integrity back to our communities, the dying and their families..
While I was still obtaining my certification, I had the opportunity to attend a 5 day Residential Immersive Retreat in Texas,. It was during this retreat where I got to see Deanna, in person and in action, infusing her wisdom with all those in attendance. Deannas love of life, and the love of being an End-of-Life Doula, is contagious to anyone that meets her.
I am honored to share more about Deanna and her wisdom. Enjoy!
Deanna Cochran, RN, amazon best-selling author and Founder of the CareDoula® School of Accompanying the Dying, is one of the earliest voices and a current leader of the end-of-life doula grassroots movement. She has been serving people with serious illness and their families since 2000 as a hospice RN and End-of-Life Doula in private practice. Her passion is educating about palliative care, end-of-life advocacy and how to skillfully accompany the dying and their families.
Deanna served as first Chair of the NHPCO End-of-Life Doula Advisory Council for over 2 years and is founding member and first Vice President of the National End-of-life Doula Alliance. She regularly teaches at conferences and retreats around the country. Individuals and organizations partner with QLC, using her course curriculum, “Accompanying the Dying: A Practical Guide and Awareness Training,” the premier End-of-Life Doula Certificate Program in the US. Her Certified CareDoula® program is the only program of its kind blending palliative care and end-of-life skillset, leading the way for specialty services during advanced illness through death.
Deanna develops unique solutions for hospices, healthcare and community organizations. She custom builds end- of-life doula programs (complete with full training for trainers and end-users) unique to each organization’s resources, talent and goals. QLC leads in unique and powerful solutions for the integration of doula services in healthcare and the community today.
Deanna established Quality of Life Care, LLC (QLC) in 2005 to provide public education initiatives for palliative care and end-of-life awareness and for the new, emerging end-of-life doula role for both laypeople and the healthcare professional. She mentors and has trained thousands of people over the years with her innovative approach.
You may have seen Deanna in some of these media outlets. She has been proudly featured in The New York Times, Medscape, Quartz, Pacific Standard, The Austin American Statesman, Story Corps, and many other publications, podcasts, and radio programs. Her #1 Amazon bestselling (in 3 categories) book, “Accompanying the Dying: Practical, Heart-centered Wisdom for End-of-Life Doulas and Healthcare Advocates,” is available wherever good books are sold.
Initiatives of QLC:
Certified CareDoula® official website
Certified CareDoula ® Training & Certificate Program
Grief CareDoula® Family Bereavement Program
CareDoula podcast and blog. Interviews and teachings about accompanying the dying and their families.
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/qualityoflifecare/
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 512-924-1402
Serious Inquiries for Institutional and Corporate Program Development, please contact our Program Director, Danielle Cochran, at: email@example.com
For Interview and Guest Speaking/Appearances Requests, please contact Programs Director, Danielle Cochran at: firstname.lastname@example.org
End-of-Life Update and the Value of Doulas
The Problem: Huge increase in need for non-medical support at end of life The Solution: End-of-Life Doulas
“End-of-Life Doulas are THE solution to the crisis in end of life care in the next 20 years as we face the fast approaching ‘silver tsuami.ʼ
~Deanna Cochran, RN, Founder and CEO of Quality of Life Care.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that "between 2020 and 2050, the number of deaths is projected to rise substantially as the population ages and a significant share of the population, the baby boomers, age into older adulthood."
The enormous pressure this will place on present health and death care systems requires innovative solutions to help. The new role of End-of-Life Doula (Death Doula) is the solution. The National End-of-Life Doula Alliance, the first non-profit membership organization for end-of-life doulas states the definition of an end of life doula as one who:
“… provides non-medical, holistic support and comfort to the dying person and their family, which may include education and guidance as well as emotional, spiritual or practical care, from as early as initial diagnosis through bereavement.”
Due to the enormity of need forecasted by industry experts, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization created the End-of-Life Doula Advisory Council for the purpose of educating hospices and palliative care organizations about doulas and how to utilize them. Their inaugural meeting was April 2018 in Washington D.C. led by Chair, Deanna Cochran, RN.
“NHPCO hopes to involve its membership in the long-range goal of incorporating EOLDs into care delivery, either as agency staff, specially trained volunteers, or as independent contractors engaged by families. EOLDs enrich the experience for patients, family members and friends, and strengthen the relationship between medical and nonmedical end-of-life support.”
Below are a few selected articles from a variety of angles regarding the value of End-of-Life Doulas
• NPR: Doulas Are Becoming Part Of The End-Of-Life Equation
• Huffington Post: A Growing Movement Of 'Death Doulas' Is Rethinking How We Die
• The Columbus Dispatch: Death doulas provide support, comfort for those near the end
• Holistic Bliss Magazine: The Curious Role of the End-of-Life Doula
According to the attached article, the majority of surveyed Americans had an inadequate understanding of what is palliative care, and how it works. Also, the frequency of how much one utilizes health care was one determinant of knowledge of palliative care.
Motolani Ogunsanya, PhD, an assistant professor at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center shares the following:
A common misconception is that palliative care is only for end-of-life care when, in fact, it can begin at any point in the disease course. This is very important, as a lot of folks assume that palliative care is similar to hospice, which it is not.
Palliative care serves as an adjunct to life-sustaining treatments, by addressing the side effects of treatment or symptoms of the disease. It aims to improve the quality of life for patients and caretakers by addressing the physical, psychological, and logistical challenges associated with a disease or its treatment.
In contrast to palliative care, hospice care provides comfort care for patients who have stopped treatment and are near the end of life,
If you, or someone you know, has been offered palliative care services, please learn more about how these services can help the patient and the family dealing with a disease or illness.