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Posted by Positive Aging Community on 10/28/2021

Meet the End of Life Doulas

Live & Interactive Discussion with members of The International End of Life Doula Association End-of-Life Doulas are non-medical companions to the dying and their families. Doulas do not take the place of hospice personnel; rather, they complement other services that a dying person and their family may be receiving, including hospice or palliative care. 

Panel of Instructors: The International End of Life Doula Association 

  • Julia Andino 
  • Kris Kington-Barker 
  • Marady Duran 
  • Valoria Walker


Presentation INELDA PROAGING Slides102621.pdf

Questions Asked

  • What is the difference between a doula and hospice?
  • a distant relative recently passed in her sleep at age 44. she was widowed just 2 years ago and has 3 minor children. the sudden death doula may help grieving family and the children? how might I locate a referral source for them? they don’t have money as far as I know. Is the service private pay or what?
  • 10 states and DC now authorize medical aid in dying for a terminally ill person (6 months or less to live). Have any speakers had experience in serving as a doula for a person who has opted for medical aid in dying and if so are there any distinctions in the process for working with the person and/or the family?
  • isn't respite care one of the Medicare benefits when someone elects hospice?
  • Are end of life doulas paid by family or individuals out of pocket?
  • What is the cost of an end of life doula?  Is it a per hour cost?
  • isn't it one of the levels of care? And, can't it be accessed more than once, and paid for by Medicare?
  • Does long term care cover in home nursing care?
  • So which professionals and helpers will help the family look at gaps in services, and gaps in the insurance coverage, and make important decisions and planning choices. before you and family are at need, and having to make decisions in a crisis situation, when the caregivers are probably stressed out, and at health challenging, burn out levels of concern
  • What is the average independent practice doula fee per hour?
  • How do you get these questions answered if a person has dementia and don't know how to answer?
  • Do some people choose to have a doula who specializes in pre death work AND a different one who specializes on post death work - eg preparation for home death and home funeral. Or is it best to find one doula who can provide both types of service.
  • Does a certified EOL Doula who is not charging for services still have to offer insurance to private clients?
  • How would I find a hospice volunteer doula position?
  • Val we remember you from Steves Pro Source Aging presentation which included VOICE YOUR CHOICE. Thank you for your hard work inspired by your experience with what happened with your Mother. Can our End of Life Doula choices be included in the Voice Your Choice Program and are you still working with that program? Thank you so much
  • What is the day in the life of a doula look like?  In actuality, what does a doula really do?
  • What does a doula do for the family of the client?
  • How do you, as a doula, care for yourself doing this extremely emotionally taxing work?
  • In the panelists experience, what percentage of their clients are also on hospice versus independent referrals?
  • What personal qualities does an individual need in order to become a successful end of life doula?
  • can we get the powerpoint?
  • What is the website that this group (proaging)?  Looking to be able to join in, and also find the recording
  • I'm here listening with my palliative care team.  Can you please explain specifically what does a doula do?  The day in the life of a doula-what does it look like?
  • So what kind of insurance is that for one hundred and sixty dollars a year, what kind of coverages are included
  • We have a resource portal that our care services uses to refer services to our seniors. How could we find a local end of life doula so we could add this as a resource in our end of life section? We are located in Washington D.C.
  • Alternative Funerals and Burial Practices for Funeral Planning are any of you familiar with Caring for Our Own Dead in which Family Members or others take care of the body of their loved one and protect against being swarmed by complications of the bigger funeral care industry. The family members may want direct earth burial and no embalming with human remains returning naturally to the earth.

Chat Transcript

12:06:31     From  Miriam Arnheim : HI!  Miriam Arnheim LCSW, ACHP-SW, APHSW-C Palliative Care social worker at University Hospital in Newark, NJ and possibly interested in becoming a Death Doula as well.

12:06:56     From  Marci Stinson : Hi everyone.  Coming from the Eastern Shore of MD working with low income seniors in Talbot County.

12:07:10     From  Jane Euler : •    $75 – 1 hour in person visit with Greta Sept 7, 2021

•    $75 – 1 hour in person visit with Greta Sept 21, 2021

•    $75 – 1 hour in person visit with Greta Sept 28, 2021

12:07:29     From  Dana Bradley : Great to see so many people!  Dana Bradley, Dean, UMBC's Erickson School of Aging. So PROUD of our alumni  Val Walker and Steve Gurney!

12:08:17     From  Carla Andersen : Good Morning from Centreville, VA. Carla Hope Andersen, RN, smoothmovesbodywork@yahoo.com     providing end of life care in homes in northern VA. happyhearts-homecare.com. thank you all

12:08:21     From  Estella Davis : Estella Davis, Lead Health Coach Prince William Area Agency on Aging Woodbridge, VA. Former Hospice Social Worker...very interested in Death Doulas!

12:08:29     From  Jane Euler : Jane Euler - end of life doula in No. Va - transitionwithtranquility.org

12:08:37     From  Leigh Pratt : Hello from Kennett Square PA. I am a Bereavement Coordinator at Willow Tree Hospice

12:08:38     From  Kim Stravers   to   Hosts and panelists : Good morning! Kim Stravers, death doula, hospice volunteer, funeral attendant and celebrant living and working in Phoenix. So pleased to join everyone!

12:08:38     From  Jane Euler : Sorry for wrong paste!

12:08:41     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : From Marika Humphreys to All Panelists 12:03 PM

Marika Humphreys - I’m a life coach for people who have a partner with cancer. Looking forward to learning more!

12:08:51     From  Lauren Butler   to   Hosts and panelists : So great to see all of you amazing Doulas & Teachers again!!!

12:09:16     From  Jean Mucher : Greetings!  Certified EOL Doula through INELDA. Residing in Rio Rancho, New Mexico

12:09:19     From  Adele Logan-Galen : Can panelists please put in their contact info?  Thanks

12:09:36     From  Kris Kington-Barker   to   Hosts and panelists : Kris Kington-Barker

12:09:46     From  Valoria Walker   to   Hosts and panelists : Valoria Walker www.doulabydestiny.com

12:09:49     From  Kris Kington-Barker   to   Hosts and panelists : Kris@inelda.org

12:09:52     From  Jane Euler   to   Hosts and panelists : Hi Val!

12:10:21     From  Valoria Walker   to   Jane Euler and all panelists : Hello Thanks for joining us this morning

12:11:37     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : Valoria Walker doulabydestiny@gmail.com

Julia Andino Julia@inelda.org,

Marady Duran Marady@inelda.org

Kris Kington-Barker Kris@inelda.org

12:12:01     From  Audra Backaitis   to   Hosts and panelists : Thanks for explaning about INELDA....I was looking for her on the panel!

12:13:45     From  Kirsten Smith : I am a volunteer with Empath Health in Florida, and we are starting a doula program. Kris did our training. She is awesome!

12:13:48     From  Janet Prescott : Hi! I'm an INELDA trained doula with a long professional hospice career, though now retired!

12:14:23     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : INELDA = The International End of Life Doula Association

12:15:01     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : From Kim Stravers to All Panelists 12:08 PM

Good morning! Kim Stravers, death doula, hospice volunteer, funeral attendant and celebrant living and working in Phoenix. So pleased to join everyone!

12:16:34     From  Karen Lekashman : Good Morning!

Karen Lekashman, Aging Life Care Manager,

in the SF Bay area – South Bay;


I am very interested to learn more about 

the work of an End of Life Doula.

12:17:13     From  Katie Rappaport : Good Morning! Katie Rappaport, Doula, hospice volunteer in Indianapolis, IN

12:20:07     From  Meghan Wrinkle : how does your work vary when working with different age groups?

12:22:02     From  Jane Forer : Tell us about  which services have fees and which do not.

12:24:28     From  Jane King : Js jt possible to have a copy of this presentation?

12:25:28     From  Dixcy Bosley : Support Build Back Better Human Infrastructure bill so family caregivers can get much needed relief.  Caring for aging parents as well as children reflects the values of a pro-family society

12:26:48     From  Emily Kearns   to   Hosts and panelists : Will this recording be shared with participants?  I have a last-minute meeting conflict and may need to leave, early.Thank you.

12:30:07     From  Valoria Walker   to   Hosts and panelists : Steve are you sharing the screen.

12:30:26     From  Valoria Walker   to   Hosts and panelists : Do I need to reshare?

12:31:04     From  Deb Merriner : My son-in-law’s mother passed away in Egypt yesterday. An end of life doula would have been a wonderful gift to give his family. How would one find a doula in another country? Deb Merriner, Buckley’s for Seniors, Premium Companion, Care Management and Transportation, 703-390-0535

12:31:26     From  Carla Andersen : round-the-clock care is what I do, having known for many years how limited Hospice is. This often involves respite for other care givers, and family members distressed by the situation.

12:32:48     From  Kim Stravers   to   Hosts and panelists : Respite with hospice also sometimes means a patient is transferred into a facility for a period of time (say, a week) rather than remaining home while caregivers get away for some rest time

12:34:13     From  Karen Lekashman : Is there a directory of respite and hospices houses in the US?

12:42:27     From  Colleen Hurley : Val's hospice volunteer experience is very different from mine.  I go into people's homes, working with one patient at a time.

12:42:55     From  MaryAnn Griffin : Are Doulas licensed by the States where they practice?  Is there a formal certification?

12:43:23     From  Dixcy Bosley : Smaller community based non-profit hospices are closing across the country b/c the reimbursement is so low.  Medicare needs to support hospice and and end of life choices more generously. It saves money. Mostly, ensures for a better death.

12:43:57     From  Kim Stravers   to   Hosts and panelists : No, there is no national board or governing body. However, different doula organizations who provide training, like INELDA, also often provide their own certification. INELDA's is rigorous!

12:44:05     From  wendy liebling : a valuable resource both personally & professionally. is there a provider list on the INELDA website around the country?

12:44:25     From  Emily Kearns : Will this recording be shared with us after?

12:44:30     From  wendy liebling : thank you to all, Wendy Liebling, Aging Life Care Professional in Phila area & suburbs

12:44:52     From  Kim Stravers   to   Hosts and panelists : There is a Doula Directory that you can sort by state on INELDA's website :)

12:45:28     From  Heather Suri : "guardian of their soul" - I can't think of a more eloquent way to describe the important work you do.

12:45:59     From  Valoria Walker   to   Kim Stravers and all panelists : Kim we will share that information.  Yes there is a INELDA doula directory on at www.inelda.org

12:46:45     From  Valoria Walker   to   Heather Suri and all panelists : Heather we appreciate you for acknowledging our role.

12:47:10     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : If there is anyone on the discussion today that can help one of our community members with this challenge email me at steve@proaging.com "My son, 54 is suffering greatly from severe on-going pulsatile tinnitus.  He has had multiple different tests – is seeing a clinic in Frederick, MD for special hearing aids.  BUT he desperately needs a new internist… not GP or family practice.  If you can makes some recommendation that would be great.

12:48:26     From  Valoria Walker   to   Dixcy Bosley and all panelists : Hello Dixcy  Glad to have you join us.  I hope you are well.  I agree with your comment to everyone.

12:49:52     From  Valoria Walker   to   Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook(Direct Message) : Steve we have a couple more slides after Julia that Marady will wrap us.

12:50:15     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook   to   Valoria Walker(Direct Message) : got it!  this is gonna go long!

12:50:54     From  Valoria Walker   to   Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook(Direct Message) : I figured.

12:50:56     From  Kris Kington-Barker : @Maryann, this is a new field and there is no nationally recognize license or certification at this time. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization  (NHPCO) currently has an End of Life Doula Council to consider what certification might look like. They have determined a scope of practice which training organizations like INELDA adhere to. INELDA has its own certification that is focused to support INELDA trained doulas in putting their training into practice and receiving continued growth and learning through instructor feedback about how they are implementing their work as a doula.

12:51:47     From  Melissa Levering : Hello all, Melissa, Volunteer Coordinator for Sutter Hospice in Sacramento.  We have been wanting to start an End of life Doula volunteer program for a few years.  Our current road block is that our patients must wear a surgical mask in order to have a volunteer in the home and probably 10ish% of our patients are able to tolerate a mask and of course the last weeks/days of life a mask would not be an option.  Has anyone found any work around for this type of requirement?

12:52:57     From  Mary Wontrop : FYI   the new Jodi Picoult Novel    Book of Two Ways  main character is a End of Life Doula.

12:53:50     From  Dixcy Bosley   to   Hosts and panelists : Bravo on this gig and your expanding business serving others with a good death.  Your mother would be so proud

12:54:14     From  Jane Euler   to   Hosts and panelists : I inadvertently pasted info that should not be available .. .anyway you can delete before making it available. Sorry for the trouble!!

12:54:42     From  Valoria Walker   to   Melissa Levering and all panelists : please contact inelda.org or email Kris@inelda.org

12:55:21     From  Valoria Walker   to   Dixcy Bosley and all panelists : Thank you Dixcy.

12:56:17     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : no worries jane - unfortunately I cant do that but it was not a problem

12:56:22     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Sourcebook : Val we remember you from Steves Pro Source Aging presentation which included VOICE YOUR CHOICE. Thank you for your hard work inspired by your experience with what happened with your Mother. Can our End of Life Doula choices be included in the Voice Your Choice Program and are you still working with that program? Thank you so much

12:56:57     From  Dixcy Bosley : Hospice rate is about  $150 -200 / day .

What do MRI scanners, high tech care cost Medicare???  Shameful

12:57:21     From  Jane Euler : The problem is metrics are needed to show the value of doulas.

12:58:12     From  Valoria Walker : The Voice Your Choice program ended but a lot resources are still on the website.

12:59:06     From  Lori Stahl : Thank you to the panel for all you do and Marady - your comments pertaining to your philosophy of practice. 

12:59:14     From  Dakota Karrasch : Every facility/community I have been working in is short handed and understaffed...our Hospice volunteers are providing a lot of help to our Companions.  There is a huge need for that extra pair of hands to give care!

12:59:30     From  Melinda Lohman-Hinz : Thank you for all of this information.  You all do amazing work!

13:01:00     From  Audra Backaitis : What insurance company offers Doula insurance?

13:02:31     From  Dakota Karrasch : I sat vigil last night with someone who died while I was with her...it was my honor!

13:02:34     From  Kris Kington-Barker : CM&F Insurance

13:03:10     From  Ruth DeHart : Thank you for this amazing discussion, it was new to me and will now know how to refer others to a doula. Best.

13:03:49     From  Kris Kington-Barker : The coverage for CM&F Insurance lists end of life doulas under "Death Doula" they also insure Birth Doulas

13:04:10     From  Audra Backaitis : Thank you!

13:04:13     From  Valoria Walker : Insurance https://www.cmfgroup.com/professional-liability-insurance/acupuncture-holistic-medicine-professional-insurance/end-of-life-doula-insurance/

13:04:56     From  Valoria Walker   to   Dakota Karrasch and all panelists : Thank you Dakota for holding that space,'

13:06:36     From  Carla Andersen : All care givers and doulas need to have  deep understanding of their own feelings surrounding death, and the meaning of our earthly lives. The more comfortable you are with your own mortality, the easier it is to comfort others facing end of life. Reiki and other hands-on comforting techniques connect us, helping many deal with feelings of isolation.

13:12:18     From  Valoria Walker : Awesome questions and great engagement.  Thank you all for you attention and questions.

13:12:32     From  Valoria Walker : your attention and questios

13:12:56     From  Valoria Walker : I'll get it right: your attention and questions lol

13:13:09     From  Adele Logan-Galen : Thanks to all of you!  I might pursue this profession so you may be hearing from me.  Wish I knew about you when my parents passed.  Adele Logan-Galen, adele@smoothmovemanagers.com

13:13:39     From  Adele Logan-Galen : Thanks for doing this Steve!!

13:13:56     From  Audra Backaitis : Great presentation!  Thank you so much.

13:14:08     From  Valoria Walker   to   Adele Logan-Galen and all panelists : Adele we have training opening for the first quarter. They often sale out so register early.

13:14:19     From  Julia Andino   to   Hosts and panelists : Thank you all!


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