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, December 7, 2012

Friday Five: References, Resources, and a Story to Warm the Heart

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

1. While we're so happy more people are learning, understanding, and utilizing hospice services, we're disappointed that so many patients are only receiving care for about a week. NHPCO reported that 35.7 percent of hospice patients died or were discharged within 7 days of admission. "We need to reach patients earlier in the course of their illness to ensure they receive the full benefits that hospice and palliative care can offer," said Don Schumacher in this NHPCO press release.We couldn't agree more.

2. We love a good hospice story, and a good veteran story, and this is both. Veteran gets medals again is just a happy article about a veteran whose hospice team helped him recover two medals he received during his time in the Navy. Way to go Hospice of the Valley and Operation American Patriot for being able to give this individual such an amazing gift near the end of his life.

3. Here was another great piece about the importance of end of life care talks and decision making, "Making decisions on end of life care." It's got a little more detail than most op-ed pieces, clearly defining some of the life-sustaining procedures that individuals can opt for or out of within their advance directives.

4. We're not endorsing the product mentioned within this piece, but we appreciated the nicely done infographic. It's a great quick hit of caregiver statistics told in a powerful way.

5.  In Arizona it's not uncommon to hear stories of individuals who have children acting as long-distance caregivers. Your mom and dad retired to a warmer climate, you stayed in the big city because of your career, your family, the faster-paced lifestyle. But, as parents age, and then health begins to decline, being far away becomes difficult. How can you make sure they're taking care of themselves? Start with this handbook, "Handbook for Long-Distance Caregivers," from The Family Caregivers Alliance, and remember to take full advantage of the resources available to caregivers.

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