Learn about the role of end-of-life doulas: non-medical professionals who provide physical, emotional, and spiritual support for the dying and their loved ones before, during, and after death.
End of life doulas are now becoming mainstream as people are looking for alternatives to fill gaps of care for elderly and dying patients. Trained in various end of life stages, an EOL doula is able to assist the family with understanding the natural processes while providing comfort and support. They serve as patient and family advocates and strive to honor patients’ final wishes by meeting them where they are. We will discuss why end of life doulas are needed, what services they offer, and how to find end of life doulas to hire.
Since 2003, Elizabeth Wong has been a registered nurse supporting women in childbirth. She has helped thousands of patients overcome their anxiety and fear about pregnancy and birth through engagement and education.
Three years ago, Elizabeth turned her attention toward her aging mother, and discovered she did not know how to effectively engage or talk about aging and end of life issues with her. She soon began to wonder why support was not available for people accompanying those who are struggling with end-of-life issues. She realized she wanted to support adult children who will be, or already are, confronted with their own aging parents.
Happily, Elizabeth discovered the role of end-of-life doulas and reached out to Suzanne O’Brien, a hospice nurse and founder of International Doulagivers Institute. Doulagivers’ mission is to empower people to be knowledgeable, capable, and compassionate caregivers. Elizabeth subsequently completed the award-winning Doulagivers training for End Of Life Doula, Elder Care Doula, and Care Consultant, and now partners with Doulagivers to share this training by offering free community doula training in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Elizabeth strongly desires to share her end-of-life work with the Chinese-American community. She also volunteers for Hospice by the Bay and would love to mentor anyone who is interested in this work.