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National Death Doula Day April 20th

Founder of Doulagivers Institute

National Death Doula Day April 20th

Doulagivers Institute

National Death Doula Day is being celebrated on April 20th to celebrate the new non-medical support changing end of life care

Death is not a medical experience, It's a human one”
— Suzanne B. O'Brien RN
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES, April 18, 2023/ -- National Death Doula Day is the day set aside to celebrate the progressive Death Doula Movement. Founded by Suzanne B. O'Brien RN who is considered a pioneer in the Death Doula Movement and founder of The International Doulagivers Institute, It is a day for Death Doulas to engage their communities, bringing awareness to the support and benefits for patients and families. An End of Life Doula is a non-medical person trained to care for someone holistically (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) at the end of life. End of Life Doulas are also known around the world as: Doulagivers, death doulas, soul midwives, transition guides, and end of life guides.

Death Doula Day is a day where we recognize the death positive impact these individuals can have during the end of life process. This day was created to raise awareness about the support of Death Doulas and how they can benefit patients, families and the hospice team at end of life. Death Doulas provide the additional support that families need in order to feel comfortable with taking care of their dying loved one at home. They are non-medical professionals that provide holistic support for the dying and their loved ones before, during, and after death with no time restrictions, one of the current issues facing mainstream medical care today. Trained in the various end of life stages, a Doula is able to assist the family with understanding the natural processes of death while providing comfort and support. This is the day where all Death Doulas can rise together and be a voice for social change at end of life, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to achieve a "Good Death".

The goal of Doulagivers Institute is simple and powerful - to provide affordable and accessible education and support to everyone in the world so that every person has the opportunity to die with comfort and dignity in their own home. Death is something that we all have in common no matter our race, religion, or socioeconomic status. We believe that this education to support people to have the most positive end of life experience is a human right, not a privilege

An average of 2.5 to 3 million people experience the end of life each year in the United States, 75% of which are expected, rather than sudden. At the same time, there are an estimated 44 million Americans aged 18 and older who provide unpaid assistance and support to the elderly and those at the end of life. Evidence shows that most of these caregivers are ill-prepared and provide care with little to no assistance. Family members of dying patients are being thrown into caregiver roles with no prior experience or adequate training and there is currently a massive “gap” in support that exists in the mainstream end of life care industry.

The mission of Doulagivers Institute is to offer state of the art, professional educational programs and resources to help family caregivers perform this duty with less difficulty and reduce the unnecessary suffering that comes along with bad end of life experiences. Death is a guaranteed part of all of our lives - and it can go well. Doulagivers Institute is an online resource center that offers free education and paid-for programs to help fill this support gap and create better end of life outcomes for all.

Suzanne B. O’Brien RN is the Founder & CEO of Doulagivers Institute. Her life's mission is to increase the availability and access to high quality end of life education and care for patients and families throughout the world. Suzanne has developed free resources and trainings for family caregivers and practitioners from her firsthand experience working at the bedside of over 1,000 end of life patients as a hospice nurse and palliative care professional.

Doulagivers Institute was formed in 2012 by Suzanne after she was moved to action by what she witnessed in the homes of her dying patients as a hospice nurse - both the beautiful, empowering deaths that she feels every person has a right to experience and the heartbreaking, traumatic ones that she recognized were the reality for far too many. Improving end of life outcomes for all members of the community through education and advocacy, as well as increasing satisfaction with the home hospice care experience is the ultimate goal of Doulagivers Institute.

Suzanne is a registered nurse and has been awarded “Worldwide Leader in Healthcare” by the International Nurses Association for creating Doulagivers Institute. She has worked directly at the bedside of over one thousand end of life patients as a hospice and oncology nurse. Suzanne is a founding member of (NHPCO) National Hospice and Palliative Care Organizations End of Life Doula Council and the former Vice President of (NEDA) National End of Life Doula Alliance. Suzanne was named Humanitarian Ambassador for Oprah Magazine in 2019 for her work to bring peace and comfort to those facing the end of life around the world.

Doulagivers Institute also trains and certifies professional Doulagivers. Doulagivers are thoroughly trained “death experts” who help navigate and guide patients and families through the entire end of life journey, providing support before, during and after death. They are a huge tool for empowerment, knowledge and advocacy on behalf of patients and family caregivers. Deficiencies exist in the mainstream end of life care industry that are harming people at the most vulnerable time in their lives - Doulagivers are an integral part of reshaping and enhancing end of life care for the future.

Suzanne B. O'Brien
International Doulagivers Institute
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