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, February 3, 2012

Friday Five Thinks About Hospice and Caregiving

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

1. There was a great article last week in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune titled, "Dying in the arms of dignity" by Kathy Silverberg. It's a great piece that points out our country's fear of discussing death, and creates a picture of why we don't need to fear death. Because Kathy Silverberg's mother was able to choose hospice care as a care option,she was able "to die the peaceful, dignified way she had lived her life." We should all be given that choice and opportunity.

2. It's Oscar season, and plenty of movies (and their actors, producers, directors, etc) out there are vying for your attention. Paula Span, frequent contributor to The New Old Age blog, discusses one of these movies, The Iron Lady. The film stars Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, and Span watches the movie from not a political perspective, but one about aging. Thatcher suffered from dementia, and Span notes that the movie devotes almost as much time to the issue of Thatcher's aging and dementia as it does to her political history. After reading Span's analysis of the film, I'm interested to see Hollywood's approach to addressing the issue of aging and dementia. And, I'm a fan of Meryl Streep.

3. Last year the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization appointed its first Hospice Ambassador, Torrey DeVitto. DeVitto is a 27-year-old actress and a hospice volunteer with Mission Hospice in California. As an ambassador, she is helping to spread the word about the benefits of hospice care. What we especially like is watching a person Torrey's age making the effort to reach out and educate others about an option of care that is typically reserved for an aging population. By spreading the word earlier, we can educate people sooner, to make them aware of the options for them, for their parents or grandparents, or other loved ones in their life. Watch this NHPCO video on YouTube as Torrey shares a hospice milestone.

4. Caregiving is often a team effort. Make collaborating a little easier with this Caregiving Log form, part of the the National Caregivers Library collection. It's a good way to ease communication between caregivers, as well as track changes in the patient over time. I would also suggest being open to modifying the form to suit your needs. Customize it to suit you, the other caregivers, and the patient.

5. One of the organizations we follow on Twitter shared this great article from Life After 50, a magazine for baby boomers. "Empowered Caregiving-Five Tips to Save Your Sanity" gives you the five most important pieces of advice when caregiving for an aging loved one. Consider changing your perspective and decreasing your stress after reading this article.

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