WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MorseLife Hospice and Palliative Care has released the results of a new online survey of 2,008 U.S. adults age 18+ conducted on its behalf by The Harris Poll in September 2019. The top three insights include overwhelming support of medical marijuana, opinions on religion when dealing with a life-limiting illness and overall understanding of hospice care.
“We plan to use the results of this survey to determine which aspects of hospice care need the most public attention and identify opportunities to raise awareness throughout the greater community,” said Keith Myers, President and CEO of MorseLife Health System.
The survey, released to coincide with National Hospice and Palliative Care Month in November, found that 87% of Americans support the use of medical marijuana as a treatment option for terminally ill patients, with nearly three in five Americans (58%) expressing strong support.
Interestingly, the hospice care study also revealed that if they were terminally ill and enrolled in hospice care, nearly three quarters of Americans (72%) feel it would be important to have access to a religious leader of their faith for spiritual guidance during their hospice care.
MorseLife was recently selected to participate in a pilot study on the use of medical marijuana as an alternative treatment to manage pain. Its hospice program is the only program in Palm Beach County offered by an organization with a history of serving the Jewish community.
Findings show that many Americans are unsure or incorrect about key aspects of hospice care including purpose, length of care and costs. For example, nearly half of Americans (48%) are not aware that hospice is covered by insurance, while 40% of Americans incorrectly believe that the sole purpose of hospice is to sedate terminally ill patients to provide pain/anxiety relief. Further, close to two in five Americans (38%) do not know that hospice care is designed for people who have six months or less to live.
The survey also found that 58% of Americans have not discussed their end-of-life care preferences with anyone in the event they become terminally ill, including almost half (45%) of those aged 65 and older who say they have not discussed it. The top three reasons for avoiding a conversation on the subject are aversion to thinking or not being prepared to talk about end-of-life-care, and believing they are too young to worry about it right now (30% each).
“Hospice care is a difficult subject for many, but we can’t skirt the issue because it’s an uncomfortable one,” noted Myers. There are many wonderful and innovative services available through hospice, like palliative care, and art, music and massage therapy, that can improve lives. People need to know these services are within their reach.”
The survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of MorseLife from September 5-9, 2019 among 2,008 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodologies, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, contact Samantha Van Nuys.
About MorseLife Health System
MorseLife serves more than 3,600 seniors every day on its campus in West Palm Beach and through its community outreach programs. Founded in 1983, MorseLife is a provider of health care and residential services for seniors in Palm Beach County. A charitable, not-for-profit organization, its programs also include short term rehabilitation, long term care, independent and assisted living, memory care assisted living, hospice, home health care, care management, meals-on-wheels and PACE. Since its beginnings, MorseLife has built a reputation and tradition of caring for seniors with excellence, dignity and compassion.