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, August 17, 2012

Friday Five Reads About Caregiving & End of Life Decision Making

The Friday Five is our weekly resource of smart articles and helpful links for healthcare professionals, family caregivers, and individuals facing the end of life.

1. We love the discussion and stories that are shared on KevinMD.com. It's a great resource for healthcare professionals and individuals interested in joining a healthcare discussion. We read a powerful piece this week from Dr. Monica Williams-Murphy, an emergency physician and author of the book It's OK to Die. We need to be presenting families with all of the options available to them, and offer them the guidance they might need to make these difficult end of life decisions. "We have kept Daddy out of heaven with what we have already done" is a really lovely story about accepting death and letting go of a loved one.

2. It was great to read the announcement this week about the new public service campaign to increase the nation's awareness of the millions of unpaid family caregivers in our midst. The ad campaign comes from the Ad Council and AARP, and the goal is to direct caregivers to resources that can help them. Learn a little more about caregiving in the U.S. and the ad campaign from this Washington Post article, "Aging America: New public service ad campaign provides roadmap for caregivers crying for help."

3. It's inspiring to see a national news organization partner with a group to encourage discussions about end of life care. That's exactly what's going on between ABC News and The Conversation Project. Their partnership is meant to spark a national conversation in families about what each individual would want at the end of life. Learn more about the partnership from this article, "The Conversation Project Shifts to End of Life Care."

4. If you're a family caregiver, you're not alone! The Internet offers a wealth of information and resources for family caregivers, but it also offers a spot for family caregivers to connect and share with one another. Often, the people who understand what you're going through best are the ones who are also going through the caregiving journey or have already gone through it. Read Mama's Keeper, written by a woman providing care to her grandmother.

5. With all this talk about end of life care and the caregiving journey, do you have questions about available resources? Hospice care is available to individuals with a life-limiting illness who have six months or less to live. It's a covered benefit from Medicare, and frequently under-utilized. Educate yourself today about hospice care so that you know what's available to you when the time comes. A good place to start is the frequently asked questions portion of our website. Take your time navigating through our site to learn more about our hospice program for Pima County residents. To find a hospice provider in your area, visit the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization site.

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