Sunday, August 2, 2009

What Do Young Adults Think About Hospice and Home Death?

We spend so much time discussing hospice and seniors, we may not be aware of young adults’ opinions about hospice or home death. Why are their opinions important? Hospice care impacts families, not just terminally ill patients. Young adults need education on death-related options that are available for their loved ones and for themselves.

The Department of Psychology at the University of Alabama did research exploring preferences of young adults. This study examined what influenced 1,035 psychology students’ opinions about hospice and home care. The sample was 66% female and 60% Caucasian, with females having more knowledge of hospice, more positive opinions about hospice, and a higher likelihood of recommending hospice.

Regarding home death, Caucasians had a more positive opinion of home death than African Americans. Individuals describing their prior experience with the death of a loved one as negative had a more positive opinion of home death than those with no prior experience or a non-negative experience.

What this study made clearer is the wide range of opinions young adults had about hospice and home care, particularly in terms of gender and race. In addition, a large amount of neutral responses indicated the significant potential for influencing more young adults’ opinions in support of hospice if they receive more hospice education.

You can read more about this research on young adults’ opinions on hospice and home death.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
"Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes”
“Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog”

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