Meet Arlene Belanger, an End of Life Doula from Kilworthy, Ontario. In addition to her End of Life Doula and Social Work training, she brings her rich perspective as a First Nations Community Member to her work as a Doula.
She is an active member of the EOLDAC, and we often see her beautiful smiling face on our Zoom meetings!
Keep reading to get to know Arlene better.
What drew you to working as an End of Life Doula?
I have always felt a connection to my family and friends as they were finishing their time here. It has been a part of my life for many years and finally last year the opportunity to attend formal education presented.
What is your philosophy on end of life care?
I value the individuals’ wishes and will be a conduit promoting a safe space where those wishes can be honoured.
What training and education did you take to become an End of Life Doula?
End of Life Doula Course is from Douglas College 2019 and my Social Service Worker Diploma from Georgian College in 2018. I bring my education and experiences in Palliative Care Training, Reiki Practice, a First Nations Community Member, Medical Office/Lab Assistant and Fitness and Nutrition.
What is your go-to self care practice?
My go to for self care is nature. I walk in my yard, breath (sun salutations yoga practice), the water: watch the falls, sit beside the water with my feet in. Breathe. Go for a Spyder ride.
What do you love most about your work?
I feel a deep satisfaction using my experiences and knowledge to facilitate discussions that support the dying and their families. I have found where I am meant to be while supporting people facing end of life and their families.
What is your best resource for end of life planning and support?
At this point, my go-to's are the End of Life Doula Association and “Preparing for the Journey – Caring for Indigenous People who are Seriously Ill”.
What is your favourite place to volunteer and why?
Prior to Covid, I usually volunteered at the Opera house or Music festivals. I love music.