Friday Five: Serious Illness for the Caregiver Perspective

| By Casa de la Luz

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

1. I was really touched by this article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week, “Caregiver’s anguish: I need to be 2 people.” Family caregivers who have struggled with the question of whether or not to put a loved one in a care facility and/or have juggled the demands of elderly parents with the needs of their children will respond to this article and Alicia Beckett’s story.

2. We know that plenty of misconceptions about hospice exist, and so it’s always a pleasure to read a news story that gives an accurate portrayal of hospice care. This article, “Mary Carlson, hospice nurse, eases final journey for patients and their families,” by David Stabler of The Oregonian, does a really nice job of painting a picture of what happens when hospice becomes involved. If you’re looking to understand what hospice care is, or how it might help you or your family, this personal story offers a little insight into the perspective of a hospice nurse and a family receiving hospice care.

3. One of the leaders in the hospice and palliative care community is Dr. Ira Byock, author and director of palliative medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. He was on NPR’s Talk of the Nation this week discussing his new book, The Best Care Possible and end of life care. Learn more about how we can approach end of life care, and how we can discuss death and dying through this article and interview, “Best Care: We Make Death Harder Than It Has To Be.”

4. Many people find it helpful to talk with others who are facing a similar situation or circumstance. If cancer has affected your life, you can find support group options from CancerCare. They offer online and telephone support groups, and they provide face-to-face support groups in the New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut areas or will connect you to groups in your area.

5. Are you caring for a parent or a spouse with Alzheimer’s disease? How’s your stress level doing lately? It’s always good to do a mental check-in with yourself every once in awhile. Take this stress check questionnaire from the Alzheimer’s Association, and then based on your answers, they’ll provide you with a list of helpful resources.

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