The elderly population here in the United States is very much on the rise. After all, the baby boomer generation is an aging one, with more and more people reaching that threshold age of 65 with each passing year. The data that has been gathered on the subject more than backs this up, too, showing that by the time that we reach the year of 2030, now only just over a decade in the future, up to one fifth (around 20%) of the entire population of this country will be considered to be elderly.
So it should come as no surprise that the population of people in hospice care is also on the rise, having climbed to reach nearly one and a half million people by the time that we reached the year of 2015. This shows quite the dramatic growth from the year of 2000, when only just over half of a million people were in need of the various hospice services that are available. But hospice services have actually long been hugely important, and hospices, though not necessarily in the form that we have come to know them in today, have been around for an immense amount of time.
As a matter of fact, hospice services of some kind can actually be traced all the way back to the 11th century. During this period of time, monks of certain religious orders actually set of various hospitals on the path to Jerusalem, providing care to people that could not always be found elsewhere. In the years that have transpired since, the overall importance of hospice services has, of course, only become more and more pronounced, with many different people taking advantage of a hospice service in their area.
Of course, hospice services can benefit all kinds of people. For instance, those who have been involved in a serious injury leaving them unable to care for themselves can benefit from the aid of hospice care workers. In addition to this, people with genetic conditions that also make independent living impossible are also likely to need hospice services of some sort. So too, of course, will many people who are suffering from various terminal illnesses. All of these are very good reasons for the necessity of a hospice care service. However, such a population of people in need of hospice services actually only make up just over 5% of all people in the hospice care system. The vast majority of people in need of hospice services are very much the elderly population, of whom 70% will need long term care in the tail end of life.
Fortunately, the hospice care facility can be a great place for such people to move into in their later years, as hospice care facilities can provide a stellar standard of care for such people, giving them access to the hospice services that they are very much in need of. After all, a good portion of those living in assisted living facilities will need help with at least a few basic activities and tasks throughout the course of the day and such hospice services can easily be provided in such a space. Hospice care workers are also staffed around the clock, meaning that someone who lives in any given hospice care facility will have readily available access to the care that they need – at all times of day or night. This can be critical to overall safety, and is not something that should be underestimated in overall terms of importance.
Ultimately, it can be hard to take advantage of hospice services when they become necessary. After all, the vast majority of elderly people are very much committed to living on their own as long as possible. Unfortunately, many of these people do not realize that it is more likely than not for them to end up needing some level of long term care. And most family members simply are not able to provide that care, as much as they might wish that they could. After all, the average person simply does not have the amount of time that would be necessary to provide such a level of care, nor the training.