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, April 20, 2012

Friday Five Cares About Family

The Friday Five is our weekly roundup of web links to smart articles and helpful resources about aging.

1. I loved reading about this innovative program at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manahattan in this week's New York Times' New Old Age blog. "Reconnecting Through Art" is a wonderful read about how individuals with Alzheimer's and dementia and their caregivers engage through a unique museum tour program. The Rubin is not the only program of its kind in the country; several other museums in New York and a couple other large cities offer similar programs. Trained tour guides lead the individuals and their caregivers through the museum, discussing various pieces. The caregivers in the article talk about the increased engagement, the welcome change of pace, the ability to connect with others.

2. NPR regularly offers wonderful multimedia pieces about aging in our country. This week they launched a new series, "Family Matters" to cover the increase in multigenerational households in the United States, and how families are being squeezed financially in order to provide for young adult children and elderly parents at the same time. We think this will be an interesting series to follow over the next two months, and a timely discussion to have as we see more and more baby boomers deal with this issue in the coming years.

3. Hopefully, you heard someone mention that Monday was National Healthcare Decisions Day. We continually encourage individuals to write their healthcare wishes down in a recognized advance directive document. But really, you will want to write down more than just your healthcare wishes. You want your family and friends to know what to do in a medical crisis, how to handle your financial affairs, what to do in a crisis. USA.gov has a great section on their site titled "Writing a Will" and covers some important details as you plan for your future, and your loved ones' future. I'm especially intrigued by their instructions on how to write a social media will.

4. Have you thought about creating a legacy video with your loved one? It's a great way for families to have a chance to remember memories together, and to keep a record of family stories, even after an individual dies. Sally Abrahms writes about her family's legacy video and offers tips on how to do your own in the AARP Caregiving Blog, "Reminiscing for the Generations." You can also watch a video of Abrahms' mother-in-law sharing some of her own family memories.

5. Are you one of the millions of family caregivers in our country? Have you considered sharing your caregiving story with others just like you? The National Family Caregivers Association offers the National Family Caregiver Story Project as a way for family caregivers to share their stories, read others' stories, and know you're not alone in your mission to care for your elderly parent, seriously ill spouse, or other relative or close friend.

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