Category Archives: dying at home

Santa Cruz County: More Medicare patients choose hospice at end of life than anywhere else in the Bay Area

By Linda Donovan, Grief Support Volunteer – Hospice of Santa Cruz County I was very impressed, but not surprised when I read the excellent article in the San Jose Mercury News, The Cost of Dying: A shift in how we end our lives. This article highlighted how more Medicare patients are choosing hospice over hospitals at the end of life. It referenced research that said 70 percent of Californians would rather die at home and 67 percent said it was extremely important to not burden families with care costs. The article discussed the value of “shifting patients to hospice and family homes where caregivers try to ease the discomforts of dying.” Santa Cruz County was highlighted for having 53.1 percent of Medicare patients choose hospice at end of life in 2010 —the highest proportion of patients selecting hospice in the Bay Area. That was about 10% higher for Santa Cruz