Of Canadians thought it was important to start planning for future health and personal care at a young age (35-54)*
Of Canadians thought it was important to talk with healthcare professionals about their wishes, but only 7% have done so*
Of Canadians have a will and 40% have a POA drawn up, but 53% of those with a will have not updated it in the last 5 years**
What is an End-of-Life Doula?
As per the End-of-Life Doula Association of Canada. An End-of-Life Doula is someone who supports a person faced with an illness or terminal diagnosis. An End-of-Life Doula can educate, advocate for, and empower clients by starting the conversation about death and embracing the dying process early. By aligning the clients needs with their expectations and wishes, the End-of-Life Doula can significantly improve the quality and dignity of the end of life journey. Some of their tasks and skills may include:
Advocate for the best possible experience for the client
Understand the physiology of death and the complexity of emotions that go along with the diagnosis of a terminal illness
Assist clients in creating and carrying out their health care treatment decisions
Share knowledgeable about legalities, options, and tools in Canada
Provide emotional, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint
Providing information needed to make informed care decisions
Facilitate communication between client, family and other care providers
Protect the client’s dignity and the family’s memory during the death experience
Allow the family to participate at their own comfort level
What is the End-of-Life Doula’s Scope of Practice?
As important as what End-of-Life Doulas do, they do not:
Act as Social Workers – End-of-life doulas give support, not advice
Dispense medication of any kind
- Take over and drive the process – They support the family’s needs
- Make assumptions about what the client or their family/friends need
As an End-of-Life Doula of Canada member, I adhere to their Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
- Death and Grief education
- Grief Recovery Method®
Grief Support - Bereavement Support
- Legacy Projects
- Connection to resources
- Vigil Support
- Support for family after their loved one has passed
Planning and Preparations - Legacy Planning, Advance Care Planning, Memorialization.
Facilitation of family meetings to discuss important issues connected to planning and preparations around end of life.
Emotional support and advocacy through the end of life process - Ensure family can optimize their remaining time left with their loved one.
Ongoing support for family members (anniversaries, post death etc)
*Nanos Research / Advance Care Planning Canada
**2019 Canadian Financial Capability Survey, Canada.ca