Maintaining Dignity and Independence

The priorities in this goal area track whether patients facing advanced age and illness are obtaining services that enable them to maintain independence and dignity consistent with their wishes to the greatest degree possible.

Goal Highlights

End of Life Indicators

70 percent of Californians want to be at home at end of life

A large majority of Californians say they would prefer a natural death if they became severely ill, rather than receiving treatments that artificially lengthen their life span. Although most individuals say that they would prefer to die at home, many die in hospitals where they often receive highly aggressive care.

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Millions of Californians haven’t communicated their choices for end-of-life care.

End of life is one of the most difficult stages of life and is in need of attention to improve the care and experience of individuals who are dying. Many patients at the end of life could benefit from palliative care.

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Californians use hospice less than the rest of the nation

Hospice care is a form of palliative care for patients who have a prognosis of six months or less to live. Palliative care is specialized, team-based care that focuses on relieving symptoms and improving quality of life for both the patient and family.

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Only 10 percent of Californians talk about end of life care with their doctors. Have you had the talk?

Advance care planning is the process of making sure that every individual determines and documents their preferences for treatment to guide decision-making, in situations when they cannot speak for themselves.

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