About Dementia Doulas Ltd

Founded in September 2018, Dementia Doulas Ltd provide support and companionship to individuals and families across Cheltenham and the surrounding areas. To find out more about the company, and our Doulas, keep reading below.

What Is A Doula?

The “Doula” role first emerged from the natural birth movement in the United States during the 1960s. Women began desiring unmedicated, low intervention births, and a Doula would be there to support the woman throughout the pregnancy and birth. The role is now defined as a trained companion who is not a healthcare professional that supports an individual through a significant health-related experience, such as childbirth or end of life. They can also provide support to the individual’s partner, family and friends.

Founder and Director Mary Merheim

“After being a teacher of children and teenagers with Autism, I took a break to care for my father and uncle at the end of their lives. I loved it so much I retrained as a carer and found my passion and strength lay in working with people with Dementia. Soon, I realised there was a massive gap in the care available. So, I decided to provide a unique service for families coping with Dementia, and the idea of ‘sharing the caring’ took off. I know that a good children’s nanny can be a godsend, and so I use this concept to support as many families as possible with Dementia.

As well as running Dementia Doulas Ltd, I continue practising as a Doula and specialise in End of Life Care as well as Dementia.

I live near the Racecourse in Cheltenham. In my spare time I travel, horse ride, volunteer as an Appropriate Adult and occasionally compete in 100km endurance events. I am Vice President of the local WI. I grew up in Suffolk and was a competitive showjumper.”

Mary’s Qualifications and Memberships

  • Bsc in Human Psychology from Loughborough University.
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education from UEA in Norwich.
  • Dementia Awareness.
  • Workplace First Aid.
  • Level 2 Food Hygiene and Safety.
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults, GDPR Training.

Member of Namaste Care International, Hospice UK, The Natural Death Society, Care & Support West, Dying Matters, National End of life Doula Alliance and The Federation of Small Businesses.

Awards and Media Coverage

  • Radio Gloucestershire – Mary has been a guest on the Anna King Show several times to talk about being an End of Life and Dementia Doula.
  • Midlands Today – Mary was contacted by BBC Midlands Today as they wanted to film her and her story. This was then aired on Points West on 22nd August 2019 and Midlands Today on 29th August 2019.

Mary Merheim was also nominated for Best Newcomer at Care and Support West Awards 2020.

“Just a little thank you for providing transport, friendship and understanding and patience, when it takes ages for us to get ready. It means a lot to have you in our lives.“
Brigitte, Gloucester
“Mary is a lovely lady. who is always happy to help those in need. Mary is very kind and always thinks about others. I would recommend Mary.”
Nikki, Gloucester
“You are so refreshing doing an excellent job that to me is extremely difficult. I also think that Tim’s last 12 months have been pleasurable as you have done so many fantastic things together and although he may be unaware of what he has been doing very soon after I can tell by his laughter and old fashioned smile he has that although he has a horrible illness he has been in a good place by your side. A real big thank you for all you have done for my best friend of 40 years and counting.”
Mark, Tewkesbury

Contact Us Today

For more information on the Dementia and respite services we provide, get in touch with us.