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An End-of-Life Doula (EOLD) is a non-medical person who is trained to care for a person and their family holistically in the last phase of life. The EOLD knows what to expect physically, emotionally and spiritually as someone's body declines and what interventions to suggest for optimum comfort.
Time and roles. The hospice nurse is the medical manager of the terminal patient with limited time at the bedside. The EOLD is the non-medical professional that is the eyes and ears of the case with no time limitations. The EOLD alerts the hospice team to any changes in the patient's presentation so that the hospice nurse can assess & update the care plan for maximum daily comfort of the patient (the goal of hospice).
A End-of-Life Doula can do everything EXCEPT give a medication and is unable to give any form of medical treatment or wound care. The hospice volunteer needs to follow Medicare regulations that generally prohibit any form of touching, moving, feeding, bathing, toileting, etc. The hospice volunteer in most US states is limited to a maximum weekly bedside visit of 4 hours. The average volunteer visit is 1-2 hours per week. This does not provide the adjunct support that patients and families so desperately need at this stressful time.
No. End-of-Life Doulas are private pay. All "companion" services, such as Home Instead, Visiting Angels, Comfort Keepers, etc are all private pay. Most EOLD have sliding scale payment options.
No. End-of-Life Doulas never give any medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter.
No. End-of-Life Doulas are non-medical professionals. Just like the establishment of Birth Doulas 40 years ago, this is not regulated by government license.
Yes. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NCPCO) is the membership organization for all hospices in the US. They have just put together the End-of-Life Doula Council to be able to share with Hospices and families how the Professional End-of-Life Doula can assist and complete the hospice team to fill in "the gaps in care" and allow for the best end of life experience for both he patient and their loved ones.
No, it is not required that a person be on hospice care to use a Doula at the end of life. However, it is advisable to educate the family on the benefits of hospice, especially relating to medication and equipment that is out of the scope of a doula. Hospice can sometimes have a stigma attached to it that it is "giving up" or a "last resort". Having the conversation with families about the beauty of hospice care can help ease their minds that death does not have to be a negative experience and that they are doing what is best for their loved one to keep them as comfortable as possible in their last days.
A Doula Care Consultant guides another person through all aspect of Advance Care Planning, which may include a Living Well End of Life Plan for themselves and their family before any crisis may occur.
Advance Directives are document that allow you to plan and make your own end-of-life wishes known in the event that you are unable to communicate them yourself. Advanced Directives consist of
A Living Will describes your wishes regarding medical care. With a medical POA, you can appoint a person to make communicate your healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to speak for yourself.
Living well end-of-life plans help the elderly have the highest quality of living as long as possible.
Services are available to older drivers and/or their loved ones as they contemplate the difficult decisions about driving safety. We offer a guided collaborative conversation designed to keep you in control of your driving retirement decision.
The Guided Collaborative Conversation is a one-on-one session with the older driver that includes a discussion, pen & paper exercises and a driving exercise. The older driver is then provided with the facts to help him or her make an informed decision regarding his or her driving future.