New Way of Caregiving: End of Life Doulas
There is a new wave in caregiving for people at the end of life, known as death doulas or midwives. The goal is to provide a safe space and support for the dying and their families. Death midwives, or end of life doulas, will be called generally when the active phase of dying begins. End of life doulas help in the planning of someone’s end of life wishes. They educate on the rights and responsibilities when caring for someone who has died. They provide spiritual care, psychological and social support before during and after the person has transitioned.
Kelly Roman, OMC, EOLD, was pulled to this work after experiencing her brother’s death. Following his passing, she began sitting vigil with people who were actively dying. Throughout the day, she sat quietly, holding their hands, praying, talking to them and giving them permission to go. She continued this practice naturally for three years until she was presented with the term “end of life doula.” Kelly strives to create a bridge of support between the clinical team, families and the dying.
Kelly’s mission is to to remove the taboo about death and dying. She wants to build an understanding that death is a natural part of life and believes that guiding and supporting families through this process is a gift.