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, November 23, 2012

Friday Five: Links for Your Weekend

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

1. This was an interesting article for those who work within the hospice community. We don't particularly care for the phrasing "sell" people onto hospice care, but we do believe we are trying to increase public awareness about the benefits of hospice. The headline, "Hospices trying to sell the public on their care," offers a negative connotation, but thankfully, the article doesn't continue in that way. Hospice is truly a service designed to support individuals and their loved ones as they journey through the end of life. We hope that an article such as this does more good than harm, allowing others to understand what hospice can offer to their family.

2. The Atlantic presented a wonderful viewpoint, in text and video form, by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel about the need for better end of life care. He makes very good points about the need to train physicians in end of life care discussions, and proposes changing hospice guidelines to be focused on need as opposed to the six-months or less to live rule. "End-of-life care should be universally provided and need-based" is a discussion we'd like to see the nation continue to have.

3. This is a great bullet point list from Emeritus Senior Living about preparing for the holidays. It's a great list for caregivers of individuals with dementia. The list has tips for preparing your loved one and preparing visitors. If you plan on visiting an elderly relative with a family caregiver, there's also a section just for visitors. We know these will be great tips as the month of December approaches, and it seems like life becomes a whirlwind of preparing for visitors, hosting visitors, and then cleaning up after everybody has left.

4. Though the holidays are usually a time focused on happy festivities, they are also a great time to have important family discussions. This is when most families gather together for the year, and some families find it then also a useful time to review any end of life arrangements for elderly parents, relatives, or themselves. If you haven't yet had discussions about end of life arrangements for those in your families, consider starting with Engage with Grace's One Slide Project. Download the pdf or jpg and hand it out to everyone, or pull it up on a computer for all to see around the table. Ask each other the questions on the slide. There's no time like now.

5. The holiday season can reawaken feelings of grief and loss, as we remember seasons past and spend time with loved ones. If you find yourself struggling with the loss of a loved one, during the holiday season, or any other time, consider reaching out to a grief support group. For those who are crunched for time, consider an online group, such as the ones with GriefNet.org. The power of the Internet is that it works on a 24-hour basis.

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