The South is the worst place to live if you’re seriously ill, according to a new report that graded each U.S. state for residents’ access to palliative care, a fairly new specialty that focuses on patients’ quality-of-life issues rather than elusive cures for diseases.
The report, organized by the Center to Advance Palliative Care and National Palliative Care Research Center in New York, evaluated Americans’ access to hospitals that offer this type of care among patients with such serious and chronic illnesses as heart disease, liver and kidney failure and Alzheimer’s. (Hospice care is palliative care applied to people at the end of life.)
The 10 worst states, from worst ascending to better: Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, Nevada, Wyoming, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas, New Mexico, Kentucky.
In 2008, 90 million Americans are living with serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s, stroke and Alzheimer’s. As baby boomers age, this number will more than double over the next 25 years.