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, March 16, 2012

Friday Five: Aging-Related Issues

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

1. There was a sweet article in this week's Tampa Bay Times about an 11-year-old girl who donated handmade birdhouses to patients at Suncoast Hospice. The fifth-grader's grandfather died under the care of hospice before she was born, but she remembers him by giving to the hospice. It's always a pleasure to read about how people give to hospice, especially when the gift is from such a young person.

2. Family caregivers might appreciate the free monthly webinars that Lotsa Helping Hands offers. This month, you can listen to the director of early stage initiatives at the Alzheimer's Association and a woman who is a caregiver to her husband, who is living with Alzheimer's. The webinar is March 22, and you can register for it on the website.

3. It probably comes as no surprise to you when I tell you there's some paperwork involved when someone dies. There's the stuff you can probably already guess at, like the will, maybe a trust, and some bank accounts, but have you realized how much paperwork there is? Paula Span writes about one family's experience in the New Old Age Blog, and gives a short list of what to deal with and tips on how to deal with it all. The family even penned a cute name for it all: administrivia.

4. If you haven't figured it out yet, we like checklists and easy to fill in forms that help guide caregiving responsibilities. Let's be honest, you can't remember everything in your head, and sometimes in appointments, you can get all spun around and lose track of what you wanted to ask. The AARP Caregiving Resource Center is full of helpful articles and lists, and this week, we found this handy checklist for what to ask when looking at an assisted living facility. Print the form, make a few copies, and take it with you to your appointments so that you get all of your questions answer and a place to make notes.

5. If you're new to Medicare, surf your way through the Medicare website for helpful information about getting started with Medicare, things you should do now, and information about how to choose and change coverage. The site also includes a wealth of additional resources including recent health news articles, a resource locator, and more.

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