African-Americans Outreach Guide

Oct 8, 2008

The Guide specifically provides readers with a review of significant end-of-life issues relevant to African American communities, and detailed strategies and tools gathered from hospice programs and experts.

  • While the African American population accounts for over 12% of the overall U.S. population, fewer than 10% of those entering hospice programs across the country are African American. Conversely, the white/Caucasian population comprises 80.1% of the U.S. population (U.S. Census estimate for 2006) and accounts for more than 80% of hospice admissions. (NHCPO 2007)
  • In 2006, two African American end-of-life focus groups conducted by NHPCO's Caring Connections found that patients often confused end of life discussions such as life insurance and funeral arrangements with advance care planning.
  • In a typical African American family structure, it is expected that family members will find a way to care for loved ones in their home. It is important to stress that hospice supports caregivers without replacing them or precluding them from making important decisions.
  • About half of the focus group participants had heard of hospice care, though their understanding varied. Financial costs and negative views of nursing facilities were the most frequent concerns.
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