About No One is Born Alone

No one is born alone, and in the best of circumstances, no one dies alone. No One Dies Alone (NODA) is a program that offers companionship and support to patients who are nearing death. NODA provides compassionate presence to individuals who have no family or close friends to sit with them at the end of life. Through this program, a compassionate presence will be provided for dying patients.  No One Dies Alone is a volunteer program that provides the reassuring presence of a volunteer companion to dying patients who would otherwise be alone. With the support of medical staff, companions are able to help provide patients with that most valuable of human gifts: a dignified death. NODA is a program was launched in 2001 and has been adopted by numerous hospitals and communities around the United States.

Serving the Community

  • The Massachusetts population is slightly older than the U.S. population. For the nation, 13 percent of the population is age 65 or older, while in Massachusetts the rate is about 14 percent (891,303 older adults; using 2010 data). Today 59 percent of older adults age 65 or older in Massachusetts are female, 50 percent are married, and 32 percent live alone.
  • NODA Helps Provide a Dignified Death — The inclination is to think that all of the people helped by NODA are very old, but that’s not true. The program provides a dignified death for people of all ages, from those who have no family or friends to those who might be far from home and suffer a catastrophic event, be it accident or illness.
  • Nobody Dies Alone was profiled in O Magazine in a heart-warming 2008 article penned by Lauren Kessler. “Whatever the volunteers do in these hours,” wrote Kessler, “they offer the most valuable gift: a dignified death. In return they sometimes experience something profound.”

Goals of the Program

  • Provide training and certification to local volunteers who are willing to be companions to dying patients.
  • Place volunteers in local area medical centers to those who are at the end of life who are alone.
  • Develop a more empathetic, compassionate community who has a synergistic model of care through end of life.


Impact Areas, our goals include

  • In the first year, to train and certify 45 local citizens.
  • Provide companionship and care to a minimum of 45 people at the end of their life.

In addition to Ruth’s House, we have committed to establishing partnerships
with the following types of organizations:

  • Merrimack Valley Hope Mission
  • Hospice care providers
  • Visiting nurse organizations
  • Hospitals
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Senior living facilities