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 13, 2012

Friday Five Considers the Dying Process

The Friday Five is our weekly roundup of links to smart articles and helpful resources for healthcare professionals, family caregivers of terminally ill individuals, and those seeking information about hospice care and grief support.

1. This article, "San Francisco doctors striving to steer dying patients out of ER, into hospice" from the San Francisco Examiner is one that we hope gains attention from ER doctors around the country. Given that so many individuals have stated as their wishes to die comfortably at home, we as healthcare professionals should be striving to fulfill the patient's wishes if the care options are available. We hope that physicians refer to hospice when a patient comes into the ER and is dying as opposed to prescribing treatments that would only make the patient's end of days harder. However, we know this isn't always the case. But, we're encouraged by the news that these San Francisco physicians are attempting to change that.

2. This was a compelling read from the Courier-Journal, "End-of-life care raises tough questions for families, society," because of the very personal family story featured and the obvious struggle for these siblings in making decisions regarding their mom's care. We think stories like these offer a human face to what can sometimes be an abstract, distant concept for many people. You might not consider end of life options until you're in the midst of an end of life issue, but the point is, we need to know our options and our wishes ahead of time. By filling out an advance directive and having the conversation with your family, you will hopefully lessen the impact of the pain and conflict that can occur at the end of life.

3. Hospice volunteers are an amazing part of the hospice interdisciplinary team. They help support the hospice staff, provide companionship to patients, and respite for caregivers. They are compassionate, dedicated individuals who provide a comforting presence. This is a wonderful profile from The Frederick News-Post, "Hospice volunteer finds ways to celebrate life in the dying," about why one woman was called to hospice volunteering and gives a better understanding of what it means to be volunteer with dying individuals.

4. We know that for many family caregivers out there, this is your first time in this type of situation. You're relying on others provide you with guidance, links to information, phone numbers to community resources, etc. You might not even be aware of all of the community resources that coult meet your needs. Readers in Tucson and the surrounding areas will welcome this directory of community programs on our calendar page. If we can offer you more information, we'd be happy to speak with you.

5. When it comes to dealing with the death of a loved one, it can be helpful to have a supportive community who understands what you're feeling. Share your grief with others through Hello Grief, a website where people can share and learn about grief and loss.

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