Communication Tips for Alzheimer’s Disease

 May 1, 2014 by Dean Bellefeuille

Looking for help communicating to a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease?

at home independent living nyTake a look at our Communication Tips for Alzheimer’s Disease video for some tips to help with understanding and communicating with persons with Alzheimer’s disease.


What to Do When a Sibling Won’t Accept Senior Care Help for Parents

 March 7, 2023 by Dean Bellefeuille

When you start to detect the warning signs that senior care help for parents is needed, very often, an elderly parent won’t accept help. After all, acknowledging the need for help isn’t easy, especially for somebody who appreciates their independence and privacy. Yet, what do you do when another member of the family is the one pushing back? If you’ve come to an impasse within your family about the need for senior care, there is one very likely culprit that may be in play: denial. (more…)

Overcoming the Common Challenges of Ageism and Ableism

 February 15, 2023 by Dean Bellefeuille

What’s your first thought when you see an elderly person in a wheelchair? Do you see that person as less-than, someone in need of being fixed? Do you assume they need special treatment, as though a physical disability impacts intellect as well? How does this perception vary from when you see an older adult standing upright, without the need for a wheelchair; would you think they were better-abled than the wheelchair-bound senior? (more…)

How Hearing Loss Treatment May Reduce Risks of Dementia

 July 5, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

Are you finding the need to turn the television up louder for an older adult you love? Conversing more loudly? Repeating topics your senior loved one missed hearing the first time? Hearing loss in seniors is not uncommon. But new scientific studies are pointing to a surprising link between hearing loss treatment and preventing dementia. (more…)

Common Caregiver Issues and How to Be a Better Advocate for a Loved One

 May 2, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

Leaving someone you love in someone else’s care is never easy, especially if it’s an older loved one. Whether the aging loved one is at home or a facility, you will have important questions you want answered. You’ll also want to be prepared to advocate for the senior to proactively manage potential problems and to quickly take care of issues that do take place. (more…)

Four Ways to Be a Better Senior Care Advocate for Aging Parents

 February 10, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Serving as a senior care advocate for a person you love is probably one of the greatest honors – and responsibilities – you’ll have as a family caregiver. It means completely comprehending the other person’s wishes and needs, and communicating them to those who can help make sure they are achieved. (more…)

The Quest for Age-Friendly Health Care

 December 9, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

If your child developed an illness, who would you call? Without a second thought, many parents have their pediatrician’s number on speed dial so that the professional they’ve meticulously selected to manage the medical care needs of their children can help as soon as possible. Due to their specialized training, working with a trustworthy pediatrician ensures the best possible care. (more…)

Tips to More Effectively Communicate About Your COPD

 November 23, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

While it may have started with your inner circle, your COPD diagnosis could now be gradually spreading to more friends and acquaintances. Revealing your COPD diagnosis and knowing how to reply to the many questions that you receive about it can be uncomfortable – for you, and also for those you are speaking with as well.

It may be surprising, but you may experience the biggest challenges in speaking with your primary caregiving partner – the person who is closest to you personally. The caregiver/care receiver relationship can cause a range of emotions. The individual receiving care may feel insecure and self-conscious as a consequence of needing assistance, that may result in feelings of anger, frustration, and embarrassment, amongst more. The caregiver may feel incapable of meeting every one of the required needs, regretful for mistakes made, and downright fatigued from trying to manage someone else’s care needs with their own.

There are some key ways to improve communication with your caregiving partner:

  • Do not beat around the bush. Clearly and honestly state your emotions and needs.
  • Always maintain respect and empathy for one another. The two of you are facing uncharted territory and evolving challenges, and will both make mistakes. A little grace will go a long way.
  • Listen to the other person – and let them know they’re being heard. Maintain eye contact, nod, or use other nonverbal cues to demonstrate you’re listening.
  • Refrain from using argumentative phrases and words, for instance, “You never…” or “You always…”. The person is probably going to become defensive and hurt feelings will intensify.
  • Make sure you are both fully knowledgeable about COPD, the associated symptoms and treatment options, and its typical progression. The physician will have resources for both of you to more accurately understand what you’re facing.
  • Be assertive without being controlling. Your emotions are valid and deserve to be shared in a constructive way without lashing out at the other person.
  • Remember that nobody is a mind-reader. If you’re assuming your caregiving partner knows what you are thinking or how you’re feeling merely by your actions, it opens the door to misinterpretation.

It can also be helpful to take a breather if emotions start to overflow. Take a break from one another while focusing on calming activities, such as listening to music, reading, exercising, or writing in a journal. When you both feel more at ease, try the conversation again.

At At Home Independent Living, we understand the stress which can come when dealing with a chronic health condition like COPD, and we are here to help. Our compassionate caregivers make ideal companions to talk with and spend time engaging in interesting activities together. We work with family caregivers to make certain they have time required for self-care, while enriching the lives of the seniors for whom they care. Contact us any time online or at 315-579-HOME (4663) for additional information about our in home senior care in Marietta, NY and the nearby areas.

The Unexpected Emotion That Comes When Caring for Aging Parents

 September 4, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

If you were to list the top five emotions you encounter in caring for aging parents, what would they be? Maybe you’d first think of emotions like compassion, love, and sometimes, even stress or frustration. Would anger make the list? In many cases, though family caregivers may well not like to disclose it, the answer is a definite YES. (more…)

Does Hiring a Care Manager Make Sense?

 March 2, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

When considering whether or not the services of a professional care manager would be a good choice for a particular situation, consider the following questions:

  • Are the client’s issues becoming more numerous and complex than can be comfortably managed?
  • Are other family needs and responsibilities getting in the way of providing the desired level of supervision and attention to the client?
  • Is the current caregiver unable to provide the desired level of care and supervision due to health or other reasons?
  • Are care responsibilities interfering with paid employment?
  • Does the family live far away from the client requiring care?
  • Is the current caregiver finding it difficult to coordinate all medical appointments and fulfill all documentation requirements?
  • Is the caregiver finding it difficult to manage the client’s finances and/or household?
  • Are care decisions and questions causing conflict and disagreement within the family or among responsible parties?
  • Is more knowledge of appropriate and applicable resources desired (community resources, state and federal programs and alternate living arrangements, etc.)?
  • Is more support and education on the presenting health or frailty issues desired (chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease and COPD)?
  • Does the client require services that family and friends do not have the time, skill or inclination to provide?

If the answers to three or more of the above questions are “Yes”, a professional care manager will be beneficial for the situation.

Professional care management services are offered in a variety of settings, providing:

  • Continuity of care management with communications coordinated between family members, doctors and other service providers
  • Avoidance of inappropriate placements, duplication of services, and unnecessary hospitalizations
  • A personal and compassionate advocate focused on an individual’s wants and needs
  • Assistance typically available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Assurance of quality care and quality referrals

To learn more about care management services, call At Home Independent Living today at (315) 579-HOME (4663).

Source: National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers

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