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.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Friday Five: Notes of Interest for Elderly Individuals

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

1. We know we usually post links to a lot of serious articles, even the occasional tearjerkers, so it's nice to be able to post something a little more lighthearted. "Aging Gracefully: What Percentage of Americans Find Getting Old Is Better Than They Expected" is a summary of a survey asking individuals aged 18-65+ about aging. I thought the slide show was particularly fun. How do you feel? Is aging better than you expected?

2. When the time comes that an aging adult can no longer live alone, it's not easy on anyone. Most individuals struggle against the need to give up some of their independence, and family members grapple with where Mom or Dad will live and how they'll be cared for and how they'll pay for the new residence. Leaving Home was a great article on the AARP site and from the magazine this week about one family's story of moving Mom. The Cawthons shared their difficulties, and all of the solutions they tried in order to make sure Doris, the mom, was happy. The article helps to demonstrate how there can be multiple solutions to a problem, and that sometimes those solutions also need to evolve over time.

3. How did you celebrate Father's Day this year? We appreciated this op-ed by Sue Horton in the Los Angeles Times. "A Father's Day gift: Having the end-of-life talk" is an honest depiction of the writer's experience with a father who was failing physically and mentally. Her ability to be honest with her father about needing more than his trust in her, and his ability to share with her, in clear terms, his end-of-life wishes, were their gifts to each other. That should serve as an example to all of us that honesty and clarity will serve us well in the end. We do admit to being alarmed at the ER physician's not initially following the daughter's instructions, but we hope that kind of attitude will change, too.

4. We're always looking at veteran's stories, and we appreciated this one from our own community about a veteran with PTSD. We like Tucson Weekly's The Story of Mac & Jill for the attention it brings to the need to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, and offers one possible solution--rescued service dogs. We hope that Jill's conflict between her service dog and her workplace is resolved soon, too.

5. If you're caring for an aging loved one, and you can feel yourself drowning in the paperwork and the jargon and the cross-care coordination, resources are available to assist you. It's very common now for individuals to hire geriatric care managers to help them navigate the waters of elder care. Find a care manager in your area by searching the National Association of Geriatric Care Manager's member database.

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