A Few Stats on Hospice in the United States

Circle of Life Hospice, in Chariton, IA came across a few stats posted by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) recently that show how Hospice is steadily becoming a top option among terminally ill patients in America.  According to the NHPCO, almost 42% of those who died in the United States in 2009 were being cared for by a hospice at the time of death.  The report states that 1.56 million patients were served by hospice in 2009, up from 1.45 million in 2008, 1.4 million in 2007, 1.3 million in 2006 and 1.2 million in 2005.  You can see the steady yearly increase.  One of the reasons Hospice care is on the rise is that agencies such as Circle of Life Hospice not only assist with the patient’s medical needs but are also very involved with the family’s needs such as emotional and spiritual counseling.  Add to these services the benefit of room & board options at the Beautiful Legacy Lodge Hospice House and you have personal, compassionate care that cannot be met by any other type of health care provider.  The Legacy Lodge has been steadily full for the last month as word about the great care the staff at the Legacy Lodge spreads throughout communities.

One other stat that might surprise people is that 60% of patients who elected hospice in 2009 had a diagnosis other than cancer.  Too often, hospice is viewed as a service just for cancer patients.  In reality, non-cancer illnesses are accounting for 60% of hospice cases.  These illnesses include heart disease, dementia, lung disease, stroke or coma, kidney disease, general debility and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Remember, the earlier you talk to Circle of Life Hospice, the more you understand how we can help and your family will be able to fully utilize all of the services we offer.  There are a lot of common miss-perceptions about Hospice, but as the statistics show, more and more families are realizing the benefits of hospice and choosing hospice care at the end of life.


Circle of Life would like to credit the NHPCO and Quality of Life Publishing for stats and information for this article.