By Brandi Alexander, National Constituency Manager
According to the Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life, African Americans are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and HIV/AIDS and are twice as likely to die from diabetes. Cancer incidence rates are ten percent higher overall, with a 25 percent greater chance of dying from it than whites.
However, only an alarming 9% of those who utilize hospice are African American. Often hospice care and other end-of-life options are interpreted as giving up hope or the place to go to die, in actuality the earlier one accesses hospice the better.
Countless studies have shown that proper use of hospice improves end-of-life care. Education around end-of-life options and having conversations about dying are both imperatives, not just in the African American community, but also for all.
Check out this article published in The Columbus Dispatch about an African American woman’s recent experience with hospice care, where her only regret was not enrolling her mother earlier.