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, October 12, 2012

Friday Five Talks About Death

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

1. Bill Keller wrote an interesting opinions piece for the New York Times entitled "How to Die." It's most interesting for its comparison of an England hospital's palliative care program and the United States' method for dealing with a dying patient. It's important that we ask ourselves the really hard questions about how we want to die, and considering the possibility that death does not have to be as difficult as we make it.

2. We loved how this one family decided to tackle on those big end of life care questions, as told in this ABC News story, "Three Generations Gather for End-of-Life Conversation." It's a great conversation between a father and his two adult daughters, recognizing the importance of wanting to be able to fulfill their father's wishes. I found the end of the story especially poignant as the adult grandson also shared his wishes, if anything were to happen to him. End of life planning is not only for the elderly; it's something that could affect any one of us.

3. We stumbled across a lovely essay on The Root, entitled "My Father's Beautiful Death." The writer shared his family's story of their experience with hospice care. I particularly liked this story because it wasn't just about how hospice cared for the patient, but the writer and his family also felt truly embraced and cared for by the hospice. The support for a patient's loved ones is one of the great strengths of hospice care.

4. When it comes to death and dying, families also find they have to deal with plenty of practical issues, such as funeral planning. You can use this Funeral Planning form from the National Caregivers' Library form to discuss what kind of memorial service your loved one would like.

5. For those of you in or near the Tucson and Pima County area, and interested in expanding your knowledge and education of the end of life experience, the Casa de la Luz Foundation invites you to attend their 12th annual End of Life Educational Conference, "Dying in America: Ensuring the Best Care Possible" with keynote speaker, Dr. Ira Byock, a leading hospice and palliative care physician and bestselling author. Registration is available through the foundation's website. The conference is $65 to attend, and continuing education credits are available.

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