What is an end-of-life doula?

End-of-life doulas empower, educate and encourage people and their families to be involved in making decisions.  The word "doula" is Greek for servant or helper. Like a birth doula supports women during the labor process, a death doula supports a person during the dying process. This support is specific to that person's needs, beliefs, and desires.  Death is a process that can span over months or even years rather than an event and doulas can help with supporting and planning for the future, regardless of diagnosis or illness.  Having a conversation or making a plan when you are healthy, is encouraged by doulas so that the care received at the end of life is appropriate and aligned with your wishes.

Vision:  To raise the standard of End-of-Life Care (EOLC).      

Mission: To promote high-quality EOLC by setting the standard for the doula profession through membership and training based on need and recommendations made by the Ministry of Health, Health authorities and outside agencies such as Canadian Hospice and Palliative Care Association.

Statement of Values:

A. In alignment with our Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, we welcome and embrace our strengths and our differences, encourage involvement, and provide equal access to opportunities and information for all members and clients.

B. We recognize the diversity of personalities and skills that comes with a person. We are respectful and inclusive to all members and clients regardless of their identities.

C. We promote beneficence in care. We promote good as well as prevent and remove harm.

Our Approach:

Our approach is holistic, individual, person-centered quality care. We see death as a process rather than an event, that takes place over time. We see building relationships with the person as the key to supporting them in their journey. We see a person as being made up of a unique set of circumstances and beliefs. We see the person as an individual.

As a community of professionals, we will continue to advocate for End-of-Life Care Doulas to be seen as a part of the palliative care team.  Also, we will continue advocating for more funding to be put into end-of-life care, so that regardless of finances, everyone will be eligible to receive a doula.

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Become a Doula

End-of-Life care can be a very rewarding career.  The End-of-Life Doula Association of Canada has reviewed many Doula training programs and can recommend quality programs that cover the core competencies of our work as Doulas.  We recommend programs that cover topics such as: caring for the dying, caring for the family, caring for a loved one, self-care, grief and bereavement, advocacy, Advanced Life Directives, and funeral options. Learn more about the training we recommend to become an End of Life Doula

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Become a Member

Becoming a member of the End-of-Life Doula Association of Canada will provide you with a community of like-minded persons for networking, support, resources, and monthly training opportunities.  Join us as we advocate for better end of life care in Canada and grow a larger collective of end of life care professionals.

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Hire a Doula

The End-of-Life Doula Association of Canada provides a referral service to suit your needs.  All of our doulas train from a recognized end of life care program, have a current criminal record check and have agreed to the code of ethics set out by the EOLDAC.

Our mandate is quality care and we strive to achieve this by having the highest standards for membership.  We will work with you and your family to find the right doula for you.

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The End of Life Doula Association of Canada provides monthly training meetings and events as part of membership. Check out our Events page for upcoming meetings.

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