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.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Friday Five for Caregivers of Elderly Parents

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

1. In today's tech-heavy and tech-savvy world, people are finding new ways to connect with one another, utilize resources, and make tasks easier or more efficient. American Medical News posted an interesting article this week about "How technology can connect doctors and caregivers." As a family caregiver, have you ever considered what it would for your responsibilities if you could use technology to supplement care and stay organized and connected to your loved one's physicians or the other individuals who might provide care to your loved one? This article explores the concept. Do you already use technology to do that? Leave us a comment and share your tips for utilizing tech tools to manage caregiving.

2. My constant favorite blog, The New Old Age from the New York Times, had an entry this week about this fun sounding project called The Legacy Project: Lessons of Living from the Wisest Americans. The project comes from a Cornell professor who collected advice for living from America's elders. Individuals, seniors in their 70s and beyond, share their advice, their tips, their wisdom. You can check out the website with stories, audio interviews, and videos of the elders or you can pick up the book version, 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans.

3. AARP recommends that now, the season of holiday get-togethers, is a good time to check in and see how your older relatives are doing. The article, "Holidays are a good time to assess how your elderly parents are faring," addresses four key areas to observe. Your relative or parent may not have noticed or acknowledged that there could be a potential need for additional assistance.

4. There was a fascinating article this week that's been passed around the hospice and palliative medicine community on Twitter. It comes from Zocalo Public Square and is entitled "How Doctors Die." It's an interesting look into what doctors choose for themselves in regards to the end of life, and how that differs from what the end of life looks like for the average Joe patient. The article states, "Of course, doctors don't want to die; they want to live. But, they know enough about modern medicine to know its limits." If that's the case, then why do so many physicians go to the extreme measures to prolong a patient's life, often at the expense of quality of life? Education and awareness will be the key to helping patients and physicians discuss death.

5. We're always looking for useful resources online to recommend to family caregivers. This week I found this PBS website, Caring for Your Parents. Those who are new to caregiving, especially for an aging parent, will appreciate the site's Caregiver HandBook. You can read through the quick guide online or just to download it as a PDF document.

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