Providing the missing piece
“70% of people would like to die in their homes, but only 17% do.”
Doulas are not a new idea. In indigenous cultures around the globe, and for thousands of years, people have stayed in their homes to die, looked after by their family and local community. In the western world, this concept has been undermined by a gradual shift towards hospitalisation, taking responsibility away from the person and those around them. However it’s possible to make death an intimate, spiritual and peaceful experience for everyone involved, whether medical support is required or not.
Doulas are trained in supporting people at the beginning (birth doulas) and end of life. ‘End of Life Doulas’ walk alongside the individual, their family and their community as an informed companion. They are sensitive to practical, emotional and spiritual needs and are a consistent and compassionate presence, with knowledge, experience and understanding. Their role is to preserve the quality of wellbeing, sense of identity and self-worth from the moment of diagnosis. They do not replace medical care, but facilitate access to resources that are available and also recognise the frequently intangible elements of life that can have a major impact on the family as they strive to maintain the best quality of life possible.
We know that taking care of someone at home is a big decision for a family. We know too that the end of life can be a lonely experience for those who are alone, in nursing homes or even in hospital. Our aim is to support people to live their life as meaningfully as possible right to the end, while making it more comfortable and natural for them to die at home if they want to.
End of Life Doula UK – Part of the Living Well Dying Well Network
For the public
We believe it is important that End of Life Doulas, as well as going through our rigorous training, are also held to account when they are working with those with a terminal illness, the frail, the elderly and people living with dementia. End of Life Doula UK has been established so that our Doulas, who are out there supporting people at such an important time in their lives, work to quality standards, are supervised, DBS checked and insured. Our End of Life Doula UK website provides information about our work as Doulas, what we do and how to connect with one of us and make contact if you are needing information, guidance or practical support. Please click here for Doula support.
For Health and Social Care Professionals and other Voluntary Organisations
There is information available and we are always very happy to talk about how we work, collaboratively both as Volunteers and as Doulas in Hospitals, Hospices, Care Homes and those providing care in their Communities. For further information on our End of Life Doula UK website please click here to visit our Professionals & Organisations page.
For all those who have commenced their training with us
Whether you have started out on the Foundation Course or are intending to obtain the Diploma– we would love you to be part of our pioneering initiative and extend this invitation to join our membership association, End of Life Doula UK, which is part of the Living Well Dying Well Network. Membership is open to all at any stage of their learning with Living Well Dying Well so please visit the End of Life Doula UK website to see the benefits of joining and for an application form.
For the media, film makers and academic researchers
For all media enquiries please visit our End of Life Doula UK website media page.