Light up A Life is a holiday held every year on December 5 in Ireland. It takes place close to Christmas right when Christmas lights are going up. The holiday is an opportunity for people to put up lights that honor loved ones they may have lost. The day is a celebration of life and a great way to remember those who have left us. It helps to keep the memories alive and provides emotional relief for anyone who may be grieving during the holidays. The holidays are a time we usually set aside to spend with the people we love. When those people are gone, it can be very difficult to cope. Commemorating them with others makes it easier.
History of Light up A Life
Light up A Life is a special holiday that is all about honoring the memories of loved ones who have passed away. It is observed on December 5 every year. Hospitals and hospices have adopted the tradition to help people cope with grief. The first Light up a Life was held in 1996. The Light up A Life event helps to raise funds for patients who are in hospice care. The more donations they receive, the better care patients can receive when they need it the most.
The events are held in different establishments around Ireland. Each location hosts the event differently. Some hospices allow the families of former patients to add lights to a displayed Christmas tree. The donation for the lighting of the tree goes to the current patients receiving care. It is a chance for the families to honor their lost loved ones by paying it forward and helping others. Depending on how the organization observes the day, you can participate and help make a hard time a bit more comfortable for people.
In the United States, the first hospice was opened in the year 1974. It was located on the outskirts of New Haven, Connecticut. That is where the first National Symposium on Hospice Care was convened. Connecticut Hospice in Branford, Connecticut was founded by Florence Wald, along with two pediatricians and a chaplain. Hospice care became very popular in the country. They opened in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Light up A Life timeline
Dame Cicely Saunders introduces the idea of hospice care to the United States in a lecture at Yale University.
Dame Cicely Saunders opens a hospice in the United Kingdom called St. Christopher’s Hospice.
Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross publishes “On Death and Dying” which identifies the five stages many terminally ill patients go through.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross speaks to the U.S. Senate Special Committee Aging on the topic of death with dignity.
Light up A Life FAQs
What illnesses lead to hospice care?
The major diagnoses that lead to hospice care are dementia, heart disease, cancer, and lung disease.
Do hospices help with pain?
Within 48 hours of admission, over 65% of patients’ pain was brought to a comfortable level.
Who introduced the first hospice legislation?
Senators Frank Church and Frank E. Moss introduced the first hospice legislation to provide federal funds for hospice programs
How to Observe Light up A Life
Make a donation
You can donate to a hospice. This will help provide care for terminally ill patients.
Visit a loved one
This is a holiday that reminds us of our love for family. Use this opportunity to spend time with and appreciate someone you love.
Volunteer at a health center
You can volunteer your time to any health center near you. You can offer your help to make things easier for others.
5 Facts ABout Hospices And Hospice Care
Many people enter hospices
It is estimated that about 1.6 million people become hospice patients every year.
Hospice care can be received at home
About 66% of patients preferred to receive hospice care in their own homes.
There are more female patients
More females are admitted into hospices in America than are males.
Hospice patients are usually old
About 40.5% of hospice patients are older than age 85.
Nurses work in hospices
Registered nurses make up 54.7 percent of full-time employees in American hospices.
Why Light up A Life is Important
It supports the terminally ill
The holiday helps raise much-needed funds for hospice patients. The funds give them better access to adequate care.
It creates awareness
The holiday helps to create awareness for hospices. This lets more people know what terminally ill patients go through.
It encourages giving
Giving is an act that helps both the giver and the receiver. The holiday allows people to give to an important cause. It also reminds us of loved ones and to treat those who lost people, with kindness.
Light up A Life dates