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 6, 2012

Friday Five: Preparing for Dying

1. Susan Jacoby wrote a compelling op-ed piece, "Taking Responsibility for Death" for the New York Times that was published on March 30. She does so using both logic and emotion, with a personal story of her mother's end of life journey. And her point at the end stands tall--in order to ensure your end of life experience is the way you want it, you need to make your wishes known.

2. There's a great article from Hospitals & Health Networks Daily discussing the movement to help individuals become more involved in their own care, including end of life care. "Defying Death and Living to Regret It" looks at how families need to have a conversation about death, dying, treatment preferences, values, and more. These conversations allow individuals to maintain some control over their lives and their deaths.

3. As our lives become increasingly digital, individuals need to also being considering what happens to their digital selves when they die? From NPR's blog All Tech Considered, "Who Has the Right to Our Facebook Accounts Once We Die" brings up the question of ownership of digital property and the law's place in determining who can access your online accounts in the event of death. If you haven't outlined yet how to access your online accounts in the event of death, maybe now is a good time to consider doing so.

4. The Hospice Foundation of America offers this free, downloadable pdf called an Emergency Profile. The profile covers a person's basic information like name, address, and emergency contacts, but it also goes over physician information, medication information, allergies, and legal contacts such as your attorney's contact information, accountant, and insurance agent. It's a good go-to contact sheet in case something happens to you, or a way to just keep all important contact information in one place.

5. It's important to put all of your affairs in order before a crisis occurs. It allows you the security of knowing your family will be taken care of, and gives you a say in what happens to your assets. A good place to start is with an elder law attorney. The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys has an easy to search directory that can help you get started with finding an attorney in you area.

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