End of Life

Facing your own death or the death of a loved one can seem overwhelming, but you need not journey alone. Colorado End-of-Life Doulas are trained to comfort and support the dying and their families.

We believe the last stage of life can be one of the richest and most meaningful—a mindset we share with our clients. We empower them to move toward and through the process of dying with a sense of purpose, and less fear.

Our goal is to help the dying realize their unique vision of this vital transition and to communicate it to those who will support them through the dying journey.

What Do End-of-Life Doulas Do?

An end-of-life doula, also sometimes called a death doula, is trained to guide and support the dying person and their loved ones through one of the most meaningful and difficult transitions in life – dying and death. We will all assuredly die one day, but we have trouble talking about it.

In a culture where death is such a difficult topic to discuss, and where death is avoided and hidden away, end-of-life doulas create a safe space for open and honest communication. This safe space to express oneself can ease the concerns, fears, and emotional isolation that can befall the dying person and the family and friends.

Additionally, end-of-life doulas acknowledge and honor the sacred space at the end of life, provide much-needed support and preparation for the family and friends who serve as caregivers, and help the dying person find personal meaning in both life and death as a trusted and compassionate companion.

An End-of-Life Doula May Provide the Following Services:

What We Do

Companionship

A caring companion for the dying person throughout the transition process

What We Do

Advocacy

Oversees that the dying person’s wishes and choices are carried out.

What We Do

Education

Offers information and guidance through the dying stages and into bereavement.

What We Do

Support

Emotional, spiritual, and physical support for the dying person and loved ones.

What We Do

Communication

Serves as liaison between client, care providers, caregivers, and family.

What We Do

Respite

Staying with the dying person so caregivers can take time for self-care.

What We Do

Planning

Assists with legacy work, vigil plans, ceremony and ritual.

What We Do

Vigil

Sits vigil at bedside during active dying phase for companionship or respite.

What We Do

After-Care

Provides follow-up and resources for loved ones in bereavement.

What We Do

Other

Individual doulas may offer additional services, skills, or specialties.

What End-of-Life Doulas Are Not

End-of-life doulas are not a replacement for, but are a wonderful addition to, hospice care. There is a gap that can occur between what hospice provides and what the caregivers can do, and this gap is what end-of-life doulas fill.

Hospice does a wonderful job providing for the physical care and symptom management of the dying person, but the caseloads maintained by hospice care teams, and the structure within which they work, do not allow for the time and focus that end-of-life doulas can offer a client and family.

End-of-life doulas do not provide any medical care, including bathing, toileting, administering medication, etc., and they do not provide patient transport for any purpose.

Choosing the Right End-of-Life Doula


The relationship between the dying and an End-of-Life doula is unique in its intimacy. The “right” doula can positively impact the experience of both the dying client and his or her family members. But how do you know if a particular doula is a good fit for your situation? Consider the following:

TRAINING

Is the doula trained in their field and have hands-on experience with the dying? Can the doula provide references—both personal and professional?

SCHEDULING

Does the doula work the days and times required? Is he or she flexible, should your needs change? Do they work as part of a revolving team or will you be dealing with the same professional each time? Does the doula have “back-up” colleagues who can fill-in if you have an emergency?

PROFESSIONAL

Is the doula willing and able to do the specific tasks you require? What does the doula consider their greatest professional strengths? Weaknesses? Does the doula communicate clearly? Does he or she appear organized and professional? What does the doula charge?

YOUR FEELINGS

Do you simply feel better in the presence of a particular doula?

Our End-of-Life Doulas

Colorado End-of-Life Collaborative Doulas are independent providers brought together under the umbrella of this collaborative for the purpose of establishing a visible presence for those who seek end-of-life services.

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