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 9, 2012

Friday Five Talks About Dying

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

1. When it comes to hospice and palliative care, Dr. Ira Byock is a leader. He's the director of palliative medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and he's preparing to release his third book, The Best Care Possible: A Physician's Quest to Transform Care Through the End of Life. The Atlantic offered a wonderful, articulate excerpt from Dr. Byock's new book this week, "Making the Best of What is Often the Very Worst Time of Our Lives." The most striking sentence for me was in this article was "Dying is hard, but it does not have to be this hard." Share your thoughts in the comments below.

2. When you think about all the people out there, surfing the Internet, and then you think of broadcasting your feelings, personal thoughts, and personal experiences, it's two big things to weigh against each other. But there are tons of people out there, blogging everyday, and I'm always impressed when I stumble across such a personally written blog as this one, Dying Digitally. Doug Gosling is a 58-year-old man who has spent years fighting prostate cancer. He's made the decision to discontinue treatments and last month he entered the Dorothy Ley Hospice program and the Toronto Grace Palliative Doctors program. In his entries, he shares his end of life experience and his thoughts on life, death, and what might be next.

3. The March 2012 edition of the Living with Serious Illness newsletter was released this week. Read about 2011 tax breaks for family caregivers, how to deal with criticism, and recognizing and dealing with frequent infections in persons with dementia.

4. When your family member is facing the end of life, you may feel uncomfortable around them or uncertain what to do together. This is an opportunity to spend quality time together. If you are uncomfortable, perhaps it can help you both to focus on doing an activity together. This article offers just a few suggestions on activities to do with the dying, all of which are meaningful ways to honor the time you have left together and can help you honor your loved one after his/her death.

5. Are you a Pima County resident and interested in learning more about available hospice services. Casa de la Luz Hospice would be happy to answer all of your questions. You don't even need a physician to make a referral. You are welcome to call us to refer yourself, a family member, or a friend to our hospice services, and a nurse will evaluate your needs.

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