End-of-life care is a difficult thing to think about, but it’s good to know that when we or someone we love are facing a life-limiting illness, we can choose to take advantage of quality care offered by hospice and palliative care programs at little-to-no cost. Every one of us deserves access to quality care at the end of this life, but many in non-dominant ethnic groups are not benefiting from these services that would have a positive impact on their experiences in this phase of life.

End-of-life care is a difficult thing to think about, but it’s good to know that when we or someone we love are facing a life-limiting illness, we can choose to take advantage of quality care offered by hospice and palliative care programs at little-to-no cost. Every one of us deserves access to quality care at the end of this life, but many in non-dominant ethnic groups are not benefiting from these services that would have a positive impact on their experiences in this phase of life.

According to the National Institutes of Health, “hospice care focuses on the care, comfort, and quality of life of a person with a serious illness who is approaching the end of life,” and “palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness, such as cancer or heart failure. Patients in palliative care may receive medical care for their symptoms, or palliative care, along with treatment intended to cure their serious illness. Palliative care is meant to enhance a person’s current care by focusing on quality of life for them and their family.” https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-are-palliative-care-and-hospice-care#palliative

End-of-life care services also include advanced care planning resources, grief and bereavement counseling, community education, and support for caregivers. These services are provided by hospice organizations throughout the state.

“Forty-five percent of Californians were in hospice care at time of death (NHPCO, 2018) and of the 45 percent, only 0.4 percent were of Native descent. As there are clear deficits present in accessing these services, we are committed to doing the work to bridge the divide.” https://smex-ctp.trendmicro.com:443/wis/clicktime/v1/query?url=https%3a%2f%2fyolocares.org%2four%2dservices%2fyolocares%2dlife%2dtransition%2dproject%2f&umid=2fa37885-f19d-4a58-946a-9145c12f7d4e&auth=a32dfaed17a2667a452307bd77f6e9e532acff0c-eb0a2f3b47d4e5f4d7741864ccf8d27649ca4a6d

Members of the SEIU Local 1000 Native American Human Rights Committee recently learned of a research project that aims to identify and address barriers to hospice and palliative care among rural and Native American communities. Yolo Cares (https://yolocares.org/)  is an independent non-profit community agency that cares for people living with a life-limiting illness in Yolo, Sacramento, Sutter, Solano, and Colusa counties. Yolo Cares was awarded a grant of $1,000,000 from the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation (https://www.yochadehe.org/) in what is now rural Yolo County to conduct this research. The study includes analysis of academic research along with community engagement. Yolo Cares invites Native Americans throughout California to take a brief online survey about end-of-life transitions at www.surveymonkey.com/r/KZMR75P and to receive a $25 Visa gift card for their efforts. At the end of the questionnaire is contact information for participating in a one-on-one interview. Native Americans who participate in both the survey and the interview will receive a $50 Visa gift card.

This opportunity will end on June 1, 2022. More information about the Life Transition Project may be found at https://yolocares.org/our-services/yolocares-life-transition-project/ or by contacting Aliya Patel at (530) 771-7242 or apatel@yolohospice.org or Brandy Jones at (530) 410-5857 or bjones@yolohospice.org

The SEIU Local 1000 Native Americans Committee encourages all of us to share the news of this opportunity to be a part of this important research with their Native American friends, relatives, coworkers, and neighbors. Questions about this effort or general questions about the Committee may be sent to naseiu@seiu1000.org