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, September 2, 2011

Friday Five For Family Caregivers

The Friday Five is our weekly roundup of links to smart articles and helpful resources across the Web.

1. We work with family caregivers on a daily basis, striving to provide superior care to patients and families. Especially in Arizona, we find that many of our elderly patients moved here from elsewhere, and some, if not all, of their children live in other cities and states. It's a difficult situation, and that's why we were glad to see U.S. News and World Report's article this week, "For Many Americans, Caregiving a Long-Distance Burden." We hope that more attention will lead to more resources for this population.

2. Could you use some help finding local community resources that offer programs and assistance for the elderly and their family caregivers? Living with Serious Illness offers community programs listings on topics such as elder abuse, caregiver resources, and local nutrition programs.

3. The family caregiver role is one a lot of people are thrust into, often with little knowledge. Suddenly, they're being confronted by how to physically care for a loved one and how to negotiate with doctors and insurance, all the while trying to balance their personal needs, such as other family members and work. It's a lot of stress, but luckily, there are resources available to assist. This article on "Navigating the Healthcare Maze" from Family Caregiving 101 offers a list of things you should know when it comes to insurance, doctors, and patient rights.

4. One of the most common misconceptions about hospice is it's a service that is only there for you in the last days and weeks of life. The Medicare Hospice Benefit guidelines say that hospice care can be provided to patients as long as a physician believes they have six months or less to live. This video from the Hospice Foundation of America explains how one woman learned hospice can be called in sooner rather than later.

5. Caring for veteran patients facing the end of life is sometimes a very different experience than caring for a civilian patient. Veterans can return from war with significant emotional, physical, and mental distress, and these issues, even if dealt with years ago, can return to haunt the patient at the end of life. Learn more about the issues facing specific veteran populations through materials provided by NHPCO's We Honor Veterans program.

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