End of Life Doula Training for Hospices

Hospice has been the recognized leader in End of Life Care since the 1970’s. It is a beautiful, holistic model of care, however, due to Medicare restrictions, Hospice is usually just not able to give the amount of support that patients and families need in the home at end of life.

We all know that we are living in challenging times with our current medical system. There should never be a time limit or a dollar amount on any healthcare, especially at the end of life. The beauty is that End of Life Doulas are not medical professionals. They are specialized, non-medical professionals, thus allowing them to have no time or financial restrictions when working with a dying patient and their loved ones.

Doulagivers- End of life Doulas are the perfect adjunct to Hospice care. Doulas can fill in the time and guidance those families so desperately need at this precious and often, overwhelming time. Remember that 9/10 people want to be at home if they are terminally ill. Hospice manages the care of the dying patient. The Hospice nurse teaches the family how to do the care. This is almost impossible to achieve in the most positive way, due to patients coming on to Hospice so late in their disease processes and the fear that presently surrounds end of life. Death is the 2nd leading fear in the United States.

How Doulagivers- End of Life Doulas Benefit Hospice, Patients and Staff:

Marketing Tool. EOL Doula Program is the most progressive marketing tool available at this time and increases community awareness of hospice in a whole new and positive light.

  • Earlier Admission Dates. The median length of stay on Hospice to date is 20 days or less.
  • Increased Length of Stay. Communities know about doulas and the EOL patient and family. This equals earlier admission = increased length of stay = increased revenue for the Hospice agency.
  • Increased Satisfaction. Family and patient satisfaction scores increase, meaning happy families = positive word of mouth = increased revenue.

Benefits to the End of Life Patient

  • Earlier intervention.
  • Better coping skills and making family peace.
  • Reinforced family training.
  • Longer and more frequent visits as needed.
  • Assistance with making memories, funeral arrangements, obituaries and memorials.
  • Holding space and helping family members cope.

Benefits to Nurses, Volunteers and Support Staff

  • Additional Private Pay Revenue Stream
  • Nurses, CNAs and support staff can double as doulas
  • Retention of nurses by going back to basics

End of life is not a dress rehearsal. We have to do better for both patients and their loved ones. This is an experience that we will all be touched by at some point in our lives. “By working together we can help make end of life the natural, sacred experience it was meant to be.” Suzanne B. O’Brien RN