Light Up A Life 2022: History, Significance and Celebrations

Light Up A Life is a holiday which is annually celebrated on 5th December in Ireland. It takes place to Christmas right when the Christmas lights starts to show up. 

This day provides an opportunity to people to put up lights to honor those who are no longer with us. The day is a celebration of life and serves as a great way to remember our loved ones who have left us.  

This day is celebrated as an event to raise funds through donations for hospice care. Hospices plays a very important in making the last days of any patient filled with happiness and celebrations. So by supporting Light Up A Life, you are bringing comfort and relief to many patients and their families.  

Event Light Up A Life
Date December 5, 2022
Day Monday
Significance The day provides an opportunity to people to put up lights to honor those who are no longer with us.
Observed by United States


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Light Up A Life History: 

The word “hospice” derives from Latin hospitum, meaning hospitality or place of rest and protection for the ill and weary.  Historians believe the first hospices originated in Malta around 1065, dedicated to caring for the ill and dying en route to and from the Holy Land. The rise of the European Crusading movement in the 1090s placed the incurably ill into places dedicated to treatment. In the early 14th century, the order of the Knights Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem opened the first hospice in Rhodes. 

In Western society, the concept of hospice began evolving in Europe in the 11th century. In Roman Catholic tradition, hospices were places of hospitality for the sick, wounded, or dying, as well as for travelers and pilgrims. Hospices flourished in the Middle Ages, but languished as religious orders became dispersed. They were revived in the 17th century in France by the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul. France continued to see development in the hospice field; the hospice of L’Association des Dames du Calvaire, founded by Jeanne Garnier, opened in 1843. Six other hospices followed before 1900. 

The modern hospice concept includes palliative care for the incurably ill in institutions as hospitals and nursing homes, along with at-home care. The first modern hospice care was created by Dame Cicely Saunders in 1967. Saunders was a British registered nurse whose chronic health problems forced her to pursue a career in medical social work. Saunders emphasized focusing on the patient rather than the disease during his/her final moments and introduced the notion of ‘total pain’, which included psychological and spiritual as well as physical discomfort.  

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 and since then it has been celebrated annually. 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. 


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Light Up A Life Significance: 

Hospice care is for people who are nearing the end of life. The services are provided by a team of health care professionals who maximize comfort for a person who is terminally ill by reducing pain and addressing physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. To help families, hospice care also provides counseling, respite care and practical support. Unlike other medical care, the focus of hospice care isn’t to cure the underlying disease. The goal is to support the highest quality of life possible for whatever time remains. 

Hospice care is for a terminally ill person who’s expected to have six months or less to live. But hospice care can be provided for as long as the person’s doctor and hospice care team certify that the condition remains life-limiting. Many people who receive hospice care have serious diseases like cancer, while others have heart disease, dementia, kidney failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However you must remember that it is not certain that people taking hospice care will die eventually many times they also survive. 

Most hospice care is provided at home with a family member typically serving as the primary caregiver. However, hospice care is also available at hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and dedicated hospice facilities. No matter where hospice care is provided, sometimes it’s necessary to be admitted to a hospital. For instance, if a symptom can’t be managed by the hospice care team in a home setting, a hospital stay might be needed.  

Medicare, Medicaid, the Department of Veterans Affairs and private insurance typically pay for hospice care. While each hospice program has its own policy regarding payment for care, services are often offered based on need rather than the ability to pay. Because of all of these it is often seen that many hospices around the country struggles to get financial support especially the public ones and hence Light Up A Life this movement is organized to gather support for hospice through donations and raising funds. 


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Light Up A Life Celebrations: 

On the occasion of this day, the events are held in different establishments all across Ireland. Each location hosts the event differently. Some hospices also allow the families of former patients to add lights to a displayed Christmas tree to mark the celebrations. The donation for the lighting of the tree goes to the current patients receiving care at these hospices. 

This day offers 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. And that’s why you can also take this opportunity to volunteer for some of these hospices. 

This is a holiday that reminds us of our love for family. Use this opportunity to spend time with and appreciate someone you love as we often realize the importance of someone only after he/she is gone, so don’t let that happen. And also don’t forget to make a donation to any hospice near you as this will provide care for terminally ill patients. 

Most Searched FAQs on Light Up A Life: 

1. When is Light Up A Life celebrated? 

Light Up A Life is annually celebrated on 5th December in Ireland. 

2. What illnesses lead to hospice care? 

The major diagnoses that lead to hospice care are dementia, heart disease, cancer, and lung disease. 

3. Do I have to pay for hospice care? 

Hospice care is free, paid for through a combination of NHS funding and public donation. You can contact a hospice directly yourself, but the team will usually also ask for a referral from your doctor or nurse. Places are limited, but you can contact your local hospice to see what is available.

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