Hospice care has long been in place, not just here in the United States but in many other parts of the world as we know it as well. As a matter of fact, hospice can even be traced as far back as the 11th century, when a hospital providing such care was first set up on the pilgrimage road that led to Jerusalem. It was run by a religious order of monks and became the prelude to our modern form of hospice care. Throughout the years, the shape of hospice care has changed, but hospice remains just as important now as it was then – if not even more so, for that matter.
In fact, hospice care services have even been able to receive government funding, though this is something that is relatively new (in the grand scheme of things). Funding for such hospices began back in the year of 1974, when two senators by the names of Frank Church and Frank E. Moss introduced legislation that allotted for such funding. And such an act was hugely important indeed, as it has allowed hospice services to help more people than ever before, something that likely would not even be possible is government hospice resources were not able to be distributed in the ways that they are today.
But why is the need for such care services so much more important now than ever? There are a number of reasons, but it is namely due to the fact that the elderly population is a rapidly growing one, particularly here in the United States and the fact that elderly people are most in need of hospice care – with only just over 5% of all such care recipients falling under the age of 65, at least as of the time that the data on the subject was last collected. The Baby Boomer generation is growing, and this is inflating the population of elderly people in this country by quite the immense amount. As a matter of fact, up to a full one fifth of the population of the United States alone is set to be considered as elderly all by the time that we reach the year of 2030, which is now not so far off into the future at all, only just over ten years ahead of us.
And when people grow older, especially later on into their elderly years, their care needs change. In many cases, living on their own and independently is simply not a safe choice and so they must find other care alternatives. Nonprofit hospice care and other forms of such care have become a very popular choice indeed. And there are a number of different ways in which this care can be obtained.
For one thing, in home care has become a popular choice among many an elderly person who is in need of long term care. In some cases, the hospice worker will come into the home only to conduct the care, but in other cases the hospice worker will actually always be present in the home. This can be ideal for the person in need of care, as it allows them to stay in the home that they have likely lived in for quite a great deal of time. Leaving one’s home can be a very difficult thing, and in home hospice care can provide a safe alternative to having to do so.
Of course, hospice care facilities are also quite commonplace and can serve a great many people as well. A hospice care facility will have a team of dedicated staff members on call at all time, 24 hours throughout the day. For many elderly people and their families alike, this is something that will likely prove to be hugely comforting indeed. At the end of the day, moving out of the home might even be beneficial to hospice care recipients, as they will have the chance to socialize more and become involved in more community events and activities, something that many elderly people who live in their homes do not have access to. In fact, hospice care can help to curb loneliness for many people.