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.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Determing Your End of Life Goals

As we approach a new year (already!), many of you might be thinking about resolutions. Every year, we welcome a new year with expectations, goals, resolutions. “I resolve to save more money.” “This year is the year I will lose that extra 10 pounds.” “I resolve to be less addicted to Facebook.” 

In hospice, we set goals too, and we encourage our patients to consider what their goals are. These goals are the things that will give us hope at the end of life. The hospice team, the nurses and social workers and chaplains, go in and they ask patients, what do you want for the end of your life? They ask you to define your wishes, your goals, and they strive to create a care plan that achieves what you want. 

What does a hospice patient’s goal look like? “My goal is to die without pain and in peace.” “My hope is that my family is taken care of after I am gone.” “I want to leave this world without any anger or regrets.” These resolutions emphasize the quality of our life . They emphasize respecting our dignity and individuality, our beliefs, and they give us comfort in the final phase of life. 

There’s a terrible myth out there that by choosing hospice care, people are giving up. Defining our goals for the end of life, though, helps us realize that we’re not giving up. We can still accomplish something during the end of life journey, and choosing hospice care means letting a team of people support you and help you accomplish your final life goals. So far, during my short time working in hospice, I have heard wonderful stories from hospice professionals about reuniting families, providing much-needed relief and support to primary caregivers, and supporting hospice patients and loved ones through the end of life journey into a peaceful death. That is our goal—to provide you and your loved ones with superior hospice care.

What are your goals for the end of life? How can hospice services help you achieve those goals?

By Carrie Bui, Communications Specialist

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