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, July 20, 2012

Friday Five: Things We Read This Week

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

1. We were so pleased to see the Los Angeles Times printed a wonderful op-ed piece by Dr. Ira Byock, a leading physician in hospice and palliative care, this week. We believe that articles such as these, "Rational healthcare, not rationing," encourage discussion about how to change the way we treat the dying in our country. And, we believe that with more open discussion, more individuals will have their end of life wishes fulfilled.

2. Educating healthcare professionals about the end of life process is a key component to changing how healthcare helps individuals and families approach dying. We liked this article in The Globe and Mail, "Teaching doctors a new approach to the end of life process," about how a Toronto hospital is taking a new approach. They've created a day-long session featuring actors and role-play situations to teach training doctors how to handle delicate, end of life conversations with family members.

3. In our stumblings through the Internet, seeking people's stories about dying and death, we learned about a 30-year-old who recently died and left three wishes in his will. His three wishes were: to repay his parents for any debts he owed them, to give money to a homeless individual, and to leave a $500 tip for an underappreciated waiter or waitress. His family raised $500, and fulfilled Aaron's last wish. The story's gone viral, and they've now received more than $10,000, enough to change the lives of 23 individuals. That is an amazing legacy.

4. Family caregivers are often thrust into this role unexpectedly and without experience, and so it's understandable that you might have a lot of questions about caregiving. The always helpful AARP is hosting a live online chat Tuesday, July 24 with Elinor Ginzler, an expert on aging issues. You can submit questions in advance about juggling caregiving responsibilities or how to best provide care, or you can just join in the with the chat at 2 p.m. EST.

5. Are you a caregiver for a veteran? Support is now available to caregivers of veterans through the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. Visit the VA Caregiver Support website to read other caregivers' stories, find helpful resources and tip sheets, and contact information for your local Caregiver Support Coordinator.

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