Amy Wood - End of Life Doula Care

a loving approach to death & dying

serving the greater Vancouver area
"The end of life deserves as much beauty, care and respect as the beginning"
- Anonymous
EOL Care and Doulas

What is an End-of-Life Doula?

End of Life Doulas  (or “death doulas”) are holistic practitioners that provide non-medical, non judgmental support, companionship and comfort to the dying person and their loved ones. Doulas can provide support from as early as initial diagnosis through to bereavement and work in tandem with the care team. This support may include education and guidance as well as emotional, spiritual and practical care.

experience & affiliations

Registered member of the End Of Life Doula Association of Canada (EOLDAC) 

Registered member of the Death Doula Network of BC (DDNBC)

End of Life Doula certificate program – Douglas College

BA in Psychology – Wilfrid Laurier University

Certificate in Grief & Bereavement Studies – University of Western Ontario

      – Practicum at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice 

Volunteer Hospice training program with 2 different institutions (Hospice of Waterloo Region + Providence Health)

Career prior to children as a Victim Service worker with the Vancouver Police Department (VPD)

I serve weekly as a volunteer at St. John’s Hospice

About Me

Hello! I'm so glad you're here.

My name is Amy and I began my work in compassionate care 18yrs ago as a university student when I became a hospice volunteer. This volunteer work was the starting point for a life-long passion for work of caring for others in their time of need. Connecting with people in a deeply human way is where I am called to be and serving others at end of life is a powerful and humbling experience for which I am deeply grateful to be part of.

I am an End of Life Doula, a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother of three. I believe that death and dying are a natural part of living; and can truly be a beautiful and sacred time.

How can I help?

As a doula in this field, I am here to hold space for heavy moments, to guide, to empower and to support those that are dying and their loved ones. I am a gifted listener and an empath which allows me to connect deeply and purposefully with others.

My goal is non-judgemental, compassionate and experienced support for my clients and those that surround them in the living and dying process. I serve to support those I work with to make informed choices that align with their wishes for life and death care. At heart, I serve as a comforting presence to support and companion throughout the journey.

Amy Wood

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Fun fact:

I love hiking and backpacking.  Exploring and adventuring in the mountains and beauty of nature brings me such joy!

The pictures you see on my site are photos I have taken on some of my adventures throughout Beautiful British Columbia!

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IMG_5219

Fun fact about me:

I love hiking and backpacking.  Exploring and adventuring in the mountains and beauty of nature brings me such joy!

The pictures you see on my site are photos I have taken on some of my adventures throughout Beautiful British Columbia!

experience & affiliations

Registered member of the End Of Life Doula Association of Canada (EOLDAC) (pending)

Registered member of the Death Doula Network of BC (DDNBC)

End of Life Doula certificate program – Douglas College

BA in Psychology – Wilfrid Laurier University

Certificate in Grief & Bereavement Studies – University of Western Ontario

    -Practicum at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice 

Volunteer Hospice training program with 2 different institutions (Hospice of Waterloo Region + Providence Health)

Career prior to children as a Victim Service worker with the Vancouver Police Department (VPD)

I serve weekly as a volunteer at St. John’s Hospice

"You matter because you are you...

…and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die”. 

 – Dame Cicely Saunders, hospice pioneer

End of Life Doula Care Services

Embracing Life Through Honouring Death

Advance Planning

In discussing and planning for death, we honour life by identifying ways to best take care of ourselves and our loved ones. Whether you’re 35 or 85, physically healthy or facing serious illness, taking the time to contemplate and plan ahead provides peace of mind for yourself and serves as a gift to those around you who won't be left guessing at a difficult time.

Doula Care

Compassionate doula care is comprised of so many different forms of support during the time between diagnosis to end of life care and beyond with grief support. To begin we would meet to evaluate your concerns and needs for now and for the days to come, discuss the ways in which I can help and then devise a care plan together of what that would look like.

Vigil Care

Vigil care is about the time and space at the bedside in the final stages of dying. It is the sensitive intent to plan for this important time with love and grace. I can aid with this planning, offer ideas of how to make this time uniquely special for your family. I can be there to support those present, advocate if necessary, educate about what to expect, and provide respite so that everyone feels supported.

Click here for more detailed information about my services and fees

Frequently Asked Questions

Although the roles of Birth and EOL Doulas are not regulated at this time,  I was trained as an End of Life Doula through Douglas College and am a member of the End of Life Doula Association of Canada (EOLDAC). The association is committed to self-regulating all of its registered member doulas.  This regulation is done through background and education checks, practical experience requirements, continuing education requirements, as well as criminal record checks every 5 years. The EOLDAC also follows directions from the local health authorities, hospice and palliative care associations and the Ministry of Health. 

For this reason it’s important to ask questions when hiring a doula such as inquiries about their education, training & experience, scope of practice and code of ethics, etc.

As an end of life doula, I’m a specially trained practitioner who provides support (emotionally, spiritually and mentally) to a client who is dying, as well as their loved ones and caregivers. I support my clients in their efforts to live fully to the end of life and help design that time according to best visions. The approach is holistic, and aims to support the mind, body and spirit.

I am available to provide support in any location (home, hospital, hospice) at any time during the dying process, whether it be near the diagnosis of a life-limiting/terminal illness, during the active dying phase, somewhere in between, or after a loved one has already passed. My support and services are customized to serve each client and family where they are and with what best supports their specific needs.

 

At this time death doula services are not covered by medical insurance under MSP.  Some employee’s benefits cover these services so it is worth checking your extended health benefits. Typically doula services are privately acquired.

End of life doulas can be contacted at any time during the end of life process. The sooner the doula can enter into the process, the more time can be spent getting to know the individual and family, creating quality care plans, prioritizing end of life needs, creating sacred space and meaning for the individual and family.

Although most people seek EOL doula services when they have received a diagnosis or are approaching end of life and wish to receive care, I invite people in any life stage to work with me as an opportunity to open discussions about death & dying and to get their advance planning in place.

My doula services are typically tailored to meet the unique needs of each person and family. My professional and confidential support can begin as early on a diagnosis,  at any point throughout the process, during the vigil time, or even after the death of a loved one occurs.

As a doula practitioner I support my clients holistically in every way I can offering emotional, spiritual and practical support during this challenging time. I am very perceptive as things develop over time and often anticipate needs before they arise.

Some people reach out to me to discuss MAiD (Medical Assistance in Dying) whether they themselves are considering or choosing MAiD or are impacted by MAiD in someway, I can offer compassionate support and care.

Others reach out to me only for the task of Advance Care Planning either for themselves or for a loved one. I can walk someone through this process as a compassionate and experienced guide to help bring to light all the things to consider when making and documenting these decisions

Absolutely. I commonly hear from the families I work with that they are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. As an end of life doula, I help bring a calm presence to support, guide and help navigate. I can be a great resource for caretakers, family members, and other individuals seeking support in preparing for and caring for the death of a loved one.

As a non-medical practitioner I do not provide medical care of any kind nor administer medications. I also do not provide legal advice. For client needs outside of the Doula scope of practice, I will make referrals to appropriate professionals and community resources.

Furthermore – as an EOL Doula I do not make assumptions about what my client/family needs or impose my own values or judgements. I will not make decisions for you. I am respectful and inclusive. I will not take over the process but be present as a gentle guide with you and your loved ones at the forefront always.

resources

books

On End of Life

  • Finding Peace at the End of Life: A Death Doula’s Guide for Families and Caregivers by Henry Fersko-Weiss
  • Advice for Future Corpses, And Those Who Love Them by Sallie Tisdale
  • Lap of Honour. A No Fear Guide to Living Well With Dying by Gaby Eirew & Dr. Pippa Hawley
  • 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying: How to Nurture What Really Matters by Dr. Karen Wyatt
  • The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life by Katy Butler
  • This Is Assisted Dying: A Doctor’s Story of Empowering Patients at the End of Life by Stephanie Green

On Grief

  • Grief is a Journey: Finding Your Path Through Loss by Kenneth Doka
  • Finding Meaning (The Sixth Stage of Grief) by David Kessler
  • It’s OK That You’re not OK: Meeting Grief & Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Divine

For Children

  • Ben’s Flying Flowers by Inger Maier. Illustrated by Maria Bogade. (sibling death)
  • Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories by Audrey Penn. Illustrated by Barbara L. Gibson (friend death)
  • The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers (grandparent death)

websites

forevermissed.com is a place where you can create an online memorial for a loved one 

whatsyourgrief.com offers articles, training, webinars and workshops related to grief

endoflifedoulaassociation.org  End Of Life Doula Association of Canada website

ddnbc.com Death Doula Network of BC website

kidsgrief.ca / youthgrief.ca Canadian Virtual Hospice Kids Grief Webpage

podcasts

Grief Out Loud hosted by Jana DeCristofaro, is a mix of personal stories, interviews and tips for navigating the terrain of loss, as well as advice for how to support grieving children.

End-of-Life University Podcast hosted by Karen Wyatt, offers educational material, inspirational messages, and interviews with experts from all aspects of end-of-life care.

Ask A Death Doula hosted by Suzanne B. O’Brien, RN working to build a bridge between families and hospice care

Talk Me To Death hosted by Amanda, an emergency RN, and co-hosted by Andrew, a stand-up comedian. A podcast about death and dying.

contact me

Please feel free to give me a call or send a message here to discuss further. I offer a free 30 minute consultation.

Leave me a phone number to reach you at if you would like a call back.

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