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, October 21, 2011

Friday Five: Understanding Hospice Care

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

1. We can only improve the end of life experience if we are willing have an open conversation about our eventual deaths. It is wonderful to see articles in national papers like the Washington Post discussing the need for a national conversation about quality of life for terminally ill patients. Read "Accepting death is difficult for patients and doctors, but it needs to be done" for one doctor's perspective about the end of life discussion.

2. "My Father's End-of-Life Treatment: Not What He Had In Mind" is a wonderfully written, slightly heartbreaking first-person account by a daughter who wanted to fulfill her father's wishes, to care for him in a comfortable way, and to offer him some dignity at the end of life. Instead, she and her sister spent days struggling to navigate their way through an unwieldy and unhelpful health care system that failed to communicate clearly with the patient's family or consider the patient's end of life directives. In the end, hospice care was able to offer the family a few peaceful final days.

3. This week in the NHPCO Updater, they wrote about a nonprofit called the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care. If you believe that this country needs to change the way it considers end of life and care for advanced illnesses, spend some time learning more about this organization and how you can be a part of the mission.

4. Have you heard the term hospice care without understanding what it really means? Here's a quick FAQ from Caring Connections, a program that's part of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Learn if hospice care is right for you and your loved one.

5. In this technologically inspired age, and when our loved ones might be spread out across the world, a personal website detailing your story, updating family and friends about what's going on, and sharing stories with one another can be helpful and supportive. Create your own personal website with the help of Hospice Journey, a nonprofit that helps families communicate with one another during a difficult time of life.

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