Testimonials, Music Therapy

Telemundo Highlights Value of Hospice for Hispanic Families

March 27, 2020

Caridad Broch’s 110-year-old mother, Eudocia, receives hospice care from VITAS at an assisted living center in Homestead, Florida, south of Miami.

Broch says she decided on VITAS hospice care when her mother’s health was not improving. Eudocia, known to her family as “Lola,” is among the small-but-growing number of Latino people who receive hospice care in the United States.

Telemundo Channel 51, a Spanish-language television station serving South Florida, recently highlighted the difficulties and complexities in end-of-life care in a segment titled “Cuidando a Mamá” (Caring for Mama). The nearly three-minute piece, featuring Broch’s family, underscores the importance and benefits of hospice care—and the challenges Latino families in particular often face.

Education and Outreach to the Latino Community

According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), 6.4% of the 1.47 million Americans who received hospice care in 2017 were Hispanic. Even though the Latino community remains an underserved population, hospice enrollment is on the rise, up 21% for Hispanic patients since 2014, thanks to community outreach and educational efforts like this television segment.

For “Cuidando a Mamá,” which aired February 13, 2020 in the South Florida viewing area, Telemundo reporters interviewed Etian Vizoso, general manager for VITAS hospice care throughout Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, and filmed VITAS music therapist Victoria Culp-Smith with Lola where she lives now, at Living Well Assisted Living Center.

Related: How Music Therapy Helps People on Hospice >

The segment acknowledged the challenge for Latino families when they prefer to keep their loved ones at home but lack the support systems, time or skills to do so.

“…It still hurts me to be away from her, you don’t ever get used to that,” says Broch. “But you know you can’t (take care of them).”

The Telemundo crew filmed Culp-Smith strumming and singing Cuban songs to Lola. In an interview, Vizoso discussed why families should choose a hospice provider with expertise in end-of-life care and family support, to help manage the symptoms of loved ones who are eligible for the hospice benefit.

Aided by segments like “Cuidando a Mamá,” thousands of Latino families now have a better understanding of hospice care and how it can help them and their loved ones with supportive services and benefits.