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How does a death doula relate to hospice?

Every person and family dealing with a terminal disease and the end of life should contact their neighborhood hospice as soon as possible, in our opinion. Although the nursing and physician care provided by hospice teams is not replaced by our doula services, we complement it perfectly. Beyond what hospice is often able to provide owing to Medicare limits, we provide more time, more individualized attention, more continuity at the bedside, more advocacy, and more availability. Our intensive training goes beyond what hospice volunteer organizations offer since each of us has confronted our concerns and feelings related to death in great detail. To deal with strong and challenging emotions, we receive training and practice. There is no service like ours available anywhere else. We provide full-time presence and companionship at vigil and at death, advocacy in hospitals or at home, coaching to customize end-of-life care plans for spiritual, physical, practical, and life review needs, and most importantly, consistent relationships with our clients.

It isn't us vs. hospice - its us WITH hospice. An end of life doula is a part of the care team - and often the one organizing communication between parts of that team. We are the glue that keeps a transition plan on track.

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