Welcome to House of Light, a blog produced and managed by the staff of Casa de la Luz Hospice. Casa de la Luz ("house of light" in Spanish) is a locally owned and operated hospice, serving the city and surrounding communities of Tucson, Arizona. Through this blog, we hope to offer education, information, and support about caregiving and hospice care to terminally ill patients and their loved ones. For more information, visit the contact us page.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Five

1. Chicken Soup for the Soul is seeking story and poetry submissions from family caregivers. The deadline to submit is August 31, 2011.

2. When it comes to selecting a hospice, do you know the right questions to ask? Do you know what to look for in a hospice? Caring Connections, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, has created a new worksheet designed to help families choose a quality hospice. The document suggests questions to ask the hospice, helping ensure that you make the right decision for you and your family.

3. Let your voice be heard, even when you can longer speak. Filling out the Five Wishes (by hand or online) makes sure that family, friends, and health professionals know what your wishes are in regards to end of life care. 

4. The Washington Post printed this terrific article on July 25, "Siblings joined forces to help their parents celebrate life and plan for death." The article is an example of how families can have the end of life discussion with each other. I'm impressed with how the writer and his family carefully planned their discussion weekend, making sure to schedule an appropriate amount of time for each topic (including factoring time for reminiscing and emotional moments), creating to-do lists for each person, and setting out enough refreshments to cut down on interruptions.

5. This blog entry, "Hospice and Hispanics: Doctor-Patient Communication" from Frances Shani Parker's Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog reminds us cultural differences can influence how a patient might approach a terminal diagnosis and a hospice referral. We believe that everybody deserves to die with dignity, and as hospice professionals, we must strive to be aware of cultural differences. The Hospice Foundation of America video at the end of the entry is a wonderful introduction to philosophies in Hispanic culture.

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