To meet the needs of California’s changing demographics, we employ Spanish speakers across all of our disciplines and support roles. Of course, employing Spanish speaking staff is only the first step towards creating a hospice agency attuned to the needs of Southern California’s growing Hispanic population.
Beyond language, we strive to understand and overcome the cultural barriers to hospice utilization that exist within the Hispanic population. Studies have demonstrated that Hispanic populations are less likely to utilize hospice care, experience higher incidence of untreated pain at end-of-life, have less familiarity with advanced care planning, and suffer disparities in the use of intensive treatment at the end-of-life.
There are many well-researched theories that seek to explain the causes of these disparities. From our standpoint, we believe that explaining hospice care to families in the appropriate language, in a culturally sensitive manner, by an individual who understands both the culture but also its complexities with regard to end-of-life issues, leads to increased rates of hospice utilization and improved palliative outcomes.