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Filling the Gap in End of Life

In August 2018, Cabot Cheese became the top sponsor of the Live Well Die Well Tour. When Kimberly C. Paul asked Roberta MacDonald why Cabot was interested in being the top sponsor she stated, "We are a Co-operative of Farm Families since 1919, our farmers have seen the cycle of life and death on the farm. They taught their children about life and death. The farmers have found a way to normalize the life cycle conversation. We thought we might help assist you and others on your Live Well Die Well Tour." Cabot Cheese sends cheese to all Kimberly's speaking engagements when requested.

Cabot Cheese has also has supported many Hospice projects as well as the death doula program at the University of Vermont. Roberta MacDonald has been the fire-starter and continues to personally volunteer her own time at her local hospice.

Death is a natural part of life. Even so, talking about death feels anything but natural.

According to the National Palliative Care Center, 20 percent of the United States’ population will be over age 65 by the year 2030—that’s more than 60 million people. Chances are, a significant portion of these seniors will be diagnosed with a terminal illness.

A recent article in the New York Times reported that, on average, patients make 29 visits to the doctor’s office in their last six months of life, even though 80 percent of patients say they hope to avoid hospitalization and intensive care at the end of life. Our healthcare system is designed to save lives—or attempt to do so—regardless of the outcome or impact on a patient’s quality of life. However, our healthcare system is only beginning to recognize the value of high quality end-of-life care.

Fortunately, there is a growing movement that helps fill the critical gap in end- of-life care. For the terminally ill, dying is a process they’re living through. End of-life doulas (also known as death doulas, soul midwives, transition coaches, and more), help the dying live better throughout the process—and ultimately die well.

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