A Spiritual Journey For Older Americans The Function Of Hospice Care In Today’s Healthcare System

A Spiritual Journey For Older Americans The Function Of Hospice Care In Today’s Healthcare System


The golden years take on many different forms. They have to, to better respond to the unique journeys our lives take.

One person is best suited to aging-in-place, while another may need to stay at a dementia care facility due to early onset Alzheimer’s. The hospice care facility is one location that’s starting to see more attention as of late, floating between a spiritual next step and a supportive community that can be exactly what some need. Should you be considering volunteering at a hospice care facility — or have a family member who could benefit from a change in pace — you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of resources to get you more in the know.

Learn more about hospice care facilities and the benefits they can offer people of all shapes and sizes below.

The face of American healthcare is getting older. It’s estimated around 20% of the United States’ population will be over the age of 65 by the time 2030 arrives. This means a growing demand for nurses, nurse practitioners, and holistic care professionals to help ease many into their golden years. A recent study found over one million Medicare beneficiaries being enrolled in hospice for 24 hours or more back in 2015. This figure will only get higher, so learning about holistic hospices now will truly pay off soon.

Where did the hospice first originate and how did it become a well-known form of care? The hospice, in its most general form, dates all the way back to the 11th century. A religious order of monks first set up hospitals along the pilgrimage road leading to Jerusalem, setting the standard we know and enjoy today. Senators Frank Church and Frank E. Moss introduced the first hospice legislation to better provide funding for these programs in the 1970’s. The hospice care facility will only get better from here thanks to the hard work of everyday people.

Mental health is one specialty that might interest for you, whether for career-related reasons or personal reasons. Over 15% of adults over the age of 60 today suffer from mental health disorders, though this figure could be much higher due to mental health stigma. Depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, and PTSD are some of the more well-known issues that can seriously impact an individual’s quality of life. The hospice care facility embraces not just a spiritual approach, but an understanding and patient perspective toward mental illness.

Hospice patients are slowly, but surely on the rise. The number of people admitted grew from 512,000 in 2000 to over one million once 2015 wrapped up. Hospice care usually starts after a formal referral has been made, with a hospice representative then visiting the patient within 48 hours of said referral. By April of 2017 there were 60 million people enrolled in Medicare. If hospice care is an area you’re interested in, the first step is to reach out and ask some questions.

The majority of patients in a hospice care center are older. Recent data from the National Hospice And Palliative Care Organization (or NHPCO) found just 6% of hospice patients in 2015 were under the age of 65. Contrary to a still pervasive belief hospices are viewed less as another form of healthcare and simply a means of delivering outdated living. The hospice care facility has been, and will be, a useful resource for those who want to age peacefully and with constant support. Hospice staff members today are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Spiritual, peaceful, and resourceful, the hospice care facility remains a boon to many. Reach out to your local Tucson hospice and ask how they can be part of your life this year.

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