PALO ALTO, Calif.–Dealing with the reality of a terminal illness is something that prompts many African-Americans to look to the clergy and spiritual leaders, but not necessarily for comfort and support in hospice care. Palliative and hospice services around the United States have been disproportionately favored by whites. Among hospice patients in the United States 83 percent were white, while merely 8.5 percent are African-American, 6 percent were Hispanic and less than 3 percent were Asians and all other minority categories, according to a 2012 report of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).

Yet enrollment in hospice care has grown since Medicare first began offering hospice benefits in 1983, with nearly 1.7 million patients receiving services in 2011 — roughly 45 percent of all deaths in the U.S., according to the NHPCO. Barriers for African Americans, Latinos This comes as no surprise to Virginia Jackson, chief of chaplaincy at the Palo Alto Veteran’s Administration Medical Center Palliative Care Clinic.

“With African-Americans, because of trust and fear issues, we take care of our relatives at home,” she said. “The issue of trust–not being listened to, not being important–is a big issue with the African-American community. There is a lot of fear around trusting a physician around medication; fear of becoming addicted or fear that it may take them out.”

Please Read More At: https://aging.stanford.edu/2013/09/ethnic-elders-forego-hospice-palliative-care/