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, June 1, 2012

Friday Five Reads About Different Ways to Care

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

1. This article was no surprise to us. The New Old Age blog included a post by Susan Seliger last week about Managing Care Online, and how caregivers are utilizing online tools to help coordinate care and to look for health information. As technology moves ahead, it will take all facets of our life with it, including family caregiving responsibilities. We think it's a great way to share news with far-away family members, to offer support and comfort to one another, and to manage a care schedule.

2. It's uncomfortable attaching a price tag to the care of another person, but there is a cost for care. Family members will see some of that cost, insurance will see more, and healthcare providers will see some of it too. But let's look at it another way. Is all this cost worth the end result? Does it ultimately benefit the patient or the provider? Is all of that costly care the kind of care the patient wanted? Amanda Bennett considers these questions in the piece, "Why Did Her Husband's End-of-Life Care Cost So Much?," an adaptation from her book, The Cost of Hope: A Memoir.

3. There are no rules as to how one is supposed to grieve and remember the dead. And as we mentioned just a few sentences ago, technology is pushing itself into all aspects of our lives. According to an article in USA Today this week, "Mourning becomes electric: Tech changes the way we grieve." The article looks at new techy ways to grieve, including memorial Facebook pages, live-streaming memorial services, and permanent online funeral home guestbooks.

4. Each day, thousands of family caregivers around the country provide care to a seriously ill loved one. These family caregivers often discover that caregiving responsibilities can quickly take over their lives, and many decide to turn it into full-time work. However, it's work that can come at a cost. This article, "Think before you quit your job to care for Mom," cites that caregivers, 50 and up, lose an average of $303,880 when they leave work early to care for an elderly parent. This is a good read for those who are trying to plan ahead for elder care costs.

5. We recommend long-distance caregivers take the time to watch this videocast from the National Institutes of Health, "Caregiving from Afar." When you're caring for a loved one who lives in a different city or state from you, it can be more difficult to understand the individual's needs. Many also struggle with the guilt of not being nearby. Watch this videocast to understand more about long-distance caregiving.

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