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, January 27, 2012

Friday Five Helps Family Caregivers of the Elderly

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

1. One of the notable healthcare blogs out there is kevinmd.com. The site covers a variety of healthcare topics, issues in medicine, patient care, and policy. One of the articles this week was "Why the family meeting is important," and it's one of those issues we stress constantly. Family meetings, sitting down and talking with patients openly and honestly about potential outcomes, including death, are just as important as the medicines and treatments doctors prescribe. Patients and their loved ones need to know all of the options and the effects of those options in order to make informed decisions.

2. We're always talking about family caregivers here, and that's because they are a vital piece of the puzzle. Rev. Amy Ziettlow is a hospice chaplain who regularly contributes to The Huffington Post, and this week her article "The Coming Age of the Family Caregiver" questions how caregiving and aging will change as we move through the baby boomer generation. Did you know that most family caregivers provide 21 hours of caregiving a week, according to the article, and that raises the question of how will we as a nation support these caregivers, and the individuals they're caring for?

3. A number of resources are available in the Tucson area to assist, educate, and support family caregivers. The Living with Serious Illness website offers a directory of community programs in the Tucson, Oro Valley, and Marana areas. Review the Caregivers Resources listings to find agencies in Tucson that respond to the needs of family caregivers. The listed agencies provide consultations, support groups, educational resources, and connection to additional community resources.

4. A lot of times I recommend articles for you to read, but I know a lot of you prefer video. Here's a news interview I found on YouTube about Caring for Your Parents. The video's about 4 minutes long, and recommends some great questions to ask your parents in order to make appropriate plans for the future. And the earlier you have these discussions, the better. There's nothing wrong with being prepared.

5. The Medicare website offers a wealth of information for caregivers and individuals utilizing Medicare. For many aging adults and their caregivers, hospitalizations happen all too frequently. This tip sheet from Ask Medicare, "Planning a Transition from Hospital to Home," helps you plan and prepare for your loved one's safe return home. Their seven tips offer a guide for what to plan for and things to think about as you move from the hospital back to the home.

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