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, February 22, 2013

Friday Five: Caregiving and End-of-Life Planning

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

1. What's wonderful about the handful of writers out there who focus on caregiving is they always present a good picture of what it means to be a family caregiver. In this blog article, Paula Span points out that some individuals become caregivers because of duty, obligation, and lack of options. She refers to them as reluctant caregivers. We know that no matter the reason for becoming a caregiver, we admire these individuals all the same.

2. It's always good to take a few notes from someone who knows. This list of 9 tips for caring for the family caregiver is written by a healthcare professional and more importantly, a family caregiver. He offers some valuable advice for accomplishing caregiving tasks and maintaining physical, mental, and emotional health as caregiver.

3.There is a movement to recognize the burden family caregivers carry every day. Our healthcare system is relying on these individuals to provide daily care, often without training, unexpectedly, and for years. That's why TEDMED has named The Caregiver Crisis as one of our Great Challenges. Read Examined Lives: A young caregiver helps three generations to see a personal picture of a family caregiver's struggle.

4. There will come a time in every person's life when you realize you're not immortal and the people you love are not immortal. For most people, that time comes when someone becomes seriously ill. And then many individuals depend on their doctors to guide them in making healthcare-related decisions, treatment decisions, medication decisions. We know how much an individual relies on the person with the expertise, and for that reason, we agree with this article. Doctors should discuss end-of-life planning with their patients. Planning ahead and open discussion can ease the difficult decisions that arise at end of life.

5. We usually provide you with a lot of articles to read about caregiving and end of life, but we stumbled across this series of videos from the American Health Lawyers Association about the importance of advance health care planning. It's a bit dated looking, but the information is still relevant. It's an interesting perspective because the series follows a fictional family discussing health care planning issues. The videos could help guide you in your own planning, or if you're a healthcare professional, might help you figure out how to discuss it with your patients.

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