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, May 4, 2012

Friday Five Cares for Others

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

1. We believe in honoring veterans at the end of life. Casa de la Luz offers an honor ceremony to our veteran patients, and we participate in the national We Honor Veterans program. If you're looking for a way to give back to these servicemen and women, there might be volunteer opportunities within your regional Veterans Affairs center. Learn more about VA volunteer services through their website.

2. Aging in our society isn't easy, on the person who is getting older and perhaps less able, nor is it easy on the family member(s) who have to provide assistance. Here are a few tips in this article from The Atlantic, "How to Care for Your Aging Loved Ones While Still Taking Care of Yourself." It's interesting to note that the research mentioned in this article shows that it's really the little things that seem to matter most in the end.

3. Have you consider how you'd like to age? Maybe you're still healthy and independent today, working full-time. Chances are it won't be this way forever, and when it isn't, how would you like to go about with your life? If you can't take care of yourself, who will assist you? This article from the Vail Daily News, "Boomers want to age in one place," raises these questions. If you're anything like most people, chances are you would prefer to remain in your own home. Are you prepared to do that?

4. Family caregivers are an oft-mentioned topic on this blog. The hospice team relies on the assistance of the primary caregiver (often a family member) to alert us if the patient is having a crisis episode, if the person's appetite has changed, if the person is experience symptoms more frequently or with more intensity. This week in the Lotsa Helping Hands blog, they wrote a great entry about Caregiving Youth: A Hidden Population. When it comes to family caregiving, it can be an all hands on deck situation, including the hands of that teenage grandson or granddaughter. If this sounds familiar to you, remember to recognize the needs of that young caregiver, too, with words of thanks or a couple hours of respite.

5. We hope that when you read this blog, it offers you insight--into caregiving issues, hospice care, dealing with grief, advance planning. These are the issues that surround our work. And as you read, we hope it empowers you in your own life. You can be your greatest advocate, or perhaps you are the advocate for a loved one--mom, dad, husband, wife. Utilize your resources, ask questions of the experts, seek out help. If you, or someone you love, is facing the last six months of life, don't be afraid to ask your physician about how hospice care can assist. You can also just call us for a hospice evaluation. Learn more about Casa de la Luz Hospice's services and how to contact us for information or an evaluation.

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