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, November 25, 2011

Friday Five: Caregiving, Listening, and Planning

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

1. Alzheimer's disease is exhausting--mentally, physically, and emotionally. How do you care for a parent who no longer recognizes you or manage the outbursts and wandering that can accompany Alzheimer's? AgingCare.com offers a new section on their website, The Caregiver's Guide to Alzheimer's Disease. Read articles and tips about the warning signs, how to tell family, how to control wandering, and more.

2. Speaking of guides, the Family Caregiver Alliance offers a pdf download of the Handbook for Long Distance Caregivers. Long distance caregiving isn't uncommon as families have spread out more. Aging parents decide to move to a warmer climate, or to a smaller city with a slower pace; children grow up and leave for bigger cities, new jobs, an urban lifestyle. Use this handbook to help you figure out where to start, how to pay for care, how to balance work and caregiving, and more. The checklist of care needs might be especially helpful in figuring out what you and your parents will need in terms of daily living and health assistance.

3. Today is the National Day of Listening, sponsored by StoryCorps. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization has made the National Day of Listening part of the celebration for National Hospice Month. StoryCorps encourages everyone to take the day after Thanksgiving as an opportunity to listen and record an interview with a loved one. Sharing our stories and recording them allows us to preserve memories and our legacies. Life review can be an important and emotional act, especially at the end of life. The National Day of Listening site suggests some great questions to help you get started.

4.Yesterday was a day to offer thanks for the blessings and the people in our lives. Hundreds of thousands of people in Arizona deserved special thanks yesterday. They are the estimated 850,000 unpaid family caregivers described in USA Today's article, "Unpaid family caregivers' work deserves applause." These caregivers are often part of what has been nicknamed the "sandwich generation." They are adults sons and daughters who balance caring for their families and their aging parents and work. If you know a family caregiver, please don't forget to offer them a few words of thanks.

5.The Associated Press had an article last week, "End-of-life documents not a huge concern for many boomers," and in it, a few baby boomers talk about how they feel healthy enough to not have a living will. Do you know any baby boomers like this--active, healthy, and not interested in filling out a living will? We try and stress constantly that even if they don't have need for one now, it's better to be prepared than when a crisis occurs.We believe filling out your advance directives is just about being prepared for the worst case scenario. Consider filling one out today.

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