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 16, 2011

Friday Five: Health Planning

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

1. The Los Angeles Times' Steve Lopez did a wonderful article this week about the importance of advance directives. His article, "Having to think about the unthinkable" points out the need to discuss our final wishes and offers some advance directive resources.

2. I'm sticking with a theme for today, and that's advance directives. We continually encourage individuals to make sure they've considered how they would want to spend the end of their life, and then to share that information with their loved ones. And, then you need to go even further, and you need to write that information down, using a legal document, and share it with your physician and your attorney. Here's an FAQ on Understanding Advance Directives so you can know where to start and why to start, today.

3. One of the big things, and seemingly simple things, is the need to designate a medical power of attorney, healthcare agent, the person who will make your medical decisions when you are no longer able. It's important to choose someone who knows your wishes, who will follow your wishes, who will take responsibility for them. And, if you are the medical power of attorney for someone else, those are the points you have to remember too. Caring Connections offers a thorough and helpful article on their website, Healthcare Agents: Choosing One and Being One. Use this a resource to help guide your decision.

4. For a little less reading today, how about a video to help start your advance directives conversation? Lindsay from Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin leads a series of videos about Five Wishes and advance directives. The videos are all about a minute to a minute and a half in length, and she answers some of the questions you're probably asking yourself. Try starting with this one: How does an advance directive help my family?

5. I'm hoping you're ready for this link now, that you have a clearer understanding of advance directives, why they're important, and you're ready to discuss your end of life wishes now. Let the Casa de la Luz Foundation help you out by providing you with a free copy of the Five Wishes. You can submit a request online to have a hard copy mailed to you, free of charge, you can call the Foundation at 520-544-9890 to ask for a copy, or you can use the link on our website and fill out the Five Wishes online.

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