Hospice and Palliative Care
Compassionate, culturally appropriate care for those nearing end-of-life is a common long-term care need. Tribal LTSS programs can successfully provide end-of-life care for those who wish to receive care at home. The resources on this page describe hospice and palliative care needs and offer planning guidance for providing end-of-life care, including examples of other hospice programs in Indian Country.
Hospice and Palliative Care Needs
Decisions about end-of-life care, such as location of death and levels of care, are important considerations for American Indians and Alaska Natives. However, tribal citizens often lack access to hospice services that would inform them about their options. Those who can access these services may feel prevented from doing so due to a lack of culturally sensitive hospice care options and health policies.
Collaborations between health care providers and tribes, and between tribal governments and their communities, can help build and maintain successful programs that ensure end-of-life support reaches those in need.
Overview of Hospice and Palliative Care
These resources describe hospice and palliative care and discuss the needs and strategies for providing it in tribal communities.
- Hospice in Indian Country: Literature Review (PDF) (PDF, 491 KB, 37 pages) Defines hospice and palliative care; explains access, use, and cultural issues for these care types for AI/AN populations; reviews relevant issues; and gives detailed summaries for 25 additional research sources
- Infographic—Caring for those nearing end-of-life: Providing compassion and dignity for our elders (PDF) (PDF, 736 KB, 1 page) Explains the difference between palliative and hospice care, where these types of care are provided, who provides it, and cultural considerations and strategies for tribal communities
Hospice Care Program Profiles
This fact sheet describes programs that offer hospice services to Indian Country and includes successes, innovations, funding considerations, and lessons learned.
- Fact Sheet: Hospice and Palliative Care in Indian Country (PDF) (PDF, 282 KB, 2 pages) Analyzes, as a group, the four hospice programs that serve Indian Country
These fact sheets highlight individual programs.
- Cherokee Nation Home Health Services – Hospice of the Cherokee (PDF) (PDF, 280 KB, 2 pages)
Provides an overview of the hospice program under Cherokee Nation Home Health Services, a tribally incorporated agency
- University of New Mexico – Palliative Care (PDF) (PDF, 208 KB, 2 pages)
Highlights a palliative care program that provides culturally tailored care to Indian Country
- Tohono O'odham Nursing Care Authority – Tohono O'odham Hospice (PDF) (PDF, 243 KB, 2 pages)
Gives an overview of the Tohono O’odham Nation’s skilled nursing facility and hospice program
- Pueblo of Zuni – Zuni Home Health Care Agency (PDF) (PDF, 244 KB, 2 pages)
Describes the Pueblo of Zuni’s home hospice care program for those who wish to receive end-of-life care at home
- Pueblo of Zuni’s LTSS Network (Video, 5:34)
Highlights how the Pueblo of Zuni provides long-term care through the collaboration of several tribal programs
Presentations from Hospice Programs
View these materials from past LTSS webinars to learn more about hospice care from the perspective of hospice programs serving Indian Country.
- Gila River Indian Community's Adult Day Health: Enriching the Lives of our Elders (materials from 2013 webinar)
Gives an overview of the Tohono O’odham Nation’s hospice and palliative care program that highlights the importance of cultural factors in end-of-life care decisions
- Download slides (PDF) (PDF, 901 KB, 29 pages)
- The Tohono O’odham Nursing Care Authority—Archie Hendricks, Sr., Skilled Nursing Facility and the Tohono O’odham Hospice: A Model of Tribally Based Skilled Nursing and Hospice Care (materials from 2012 webinar)
Discusses how the Tohono O’odham Nation developed skilled nursing facilities, including a hospice care program