New Emphasis on Making Plans for End-of-life Care Emerging: Health Workers Educate Patients, FamiliesNatalie McGill Disclosures Nations Health. 2015;45(3):1,12
Thanks in part to the baby boom between 1946 and 1964, the number of U.S. adults ages 65 and older in 2050 is estimated to be nearly 84 million, almost double the estimated 43.1 million in 2012, according to census data. With the jump in the senior population comes greater attention to how their lives will end.
But more than 25 percent of U.S. adults have either given little or no thought to how to manage their end-of-life care, according to “Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life,” a September 2014 Institute of Medicine report. As such, public education and engagement is a growing priority.
The report recommends that many groups, including the public health community and health care organizations, need to reach out to patients about advanced care planning with targeted, evidence-based information on their options. It added that it should be part of a health care organization’s practice to give out materials regarding end-of-life care to patients and families to keep dialogue open.