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, December 2, 2011

Friday Five for the Family Caregiver

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

1. I was completely absorbed by this article in Salon, "The dilemma of taking care of elderly parents" by Lillian Rubin. It's a wonderful article, written by an elderly parent with a middle-aged daughter who tries to stick close by and call more often as her mother ages. Thanks to the writer's personal perspective, the article highlights the struggle between the still healthy, but aging parent, and the sandwiched son/daughter balancing work, family, and the worry of keeping an eye on that aging parent.

2. The Chicago Tribune took some time this week to recognize that caregiving is not always a responsibility left to blood relatives. Their article, "In caregiving, bond is often more important than blood," highlights the fact that many of us might rely on help and care from neighbors and good friends, people we're close to and who might feel like family, but aren't actually related. The article includes some good advice on putting caregiving agreements into writing, so that both parties can be protected later.

3. Open enrollment for Medicare ends December 7. If you have not yet enrolled, and are trying to navigate your way through what it will cost you, how to apply, and the benefits of the Medicare plans, visit Medicare.gov, the government's official website for Medicare. On the site you'll find videos, articles, and you can fill out your application online.

4. Family caregivers typically are juggling multiple responsibilities, and may not have the time or the freedom to stay home with an aging loved one. Many choose to hire outside assistance, but when you're inviting someone into your home, to care for your elderly mom or dad, you want to know you're making the right decision, trusting the right person. This Pathfinders fact and sheet, "Managing Care Helpers in the Home," is a simple Q&A format with valuable guidance about what information to convey to a care helper and warning signs of abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation.

5. It must be the holiday season because the weather in Tucson went from gorgeous to gloomy overnight. Have you started your gift shopping yet? (Don't worry, I'm not finished shopping yet either.) Here are some good gift suggestions for the family caregiver in your life from Caregiving.com. This year, why not give them a gift that will really help them?

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