How Can a Geriatric Care Manager Help My Loved One?

 November 19, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

woman-showing-tablet-senior-woman

Family care providers recognize that navigating the journey of choosing appropriate care resources for a senior can seem like trying to traverse the ocean in a rowboat – blindfolded, and blindsided by the buffeting surf and winds. The likelihood of making it safely to your destination are fairly slim without the recommended tools, and an expert to assist you in the best way to utilize them.

That is where a geriatric care manager (also known as an aging life care professional) can step in and save the day. Geriatric care managers are specialists in the various intricacies of aging, available resources, resolution of issues pertaining to family dynamics, and much more.

Available for short-term consultations up through and including full-time help and support, there are a few key instances when a geriatric care manager is especially beneficial:

  • Distance separates both you and your loved one. Living in Michigan while your aging parents are in New York, even with today’s technology, makes it challenging to make certain they’re completely cared for and safe. A geriatric care manager can provide supervision of care, frequent visitations, and assistance with decision-making.
  • A difficult behavioral issue is at play. When a senior is challenged by dementia or any other diagnosis that creates behavioral concerns, a geriatric care manager can be an integral part of the older adult’s care team, providing information on appropriate specialists and helping to find a remedy to troubling behaviors, which can include aggression, wandering, or sundowning.
  • The senior won’t open up about health concerns. Older adults commonly want to keep their adult children from worrying, and as a result, withhold crucial health information – but are frequently open to talking with a professional geriatric care manager about their worries.
  • There are living condition concerns. For instance, if a loved one resides in an assisted living community that will not permit you to hire a personal caregiver when additional assistance becomes necessary, a geriatric care manager can provide extensive information about both the community itself and your state’s relevant laws, and will help mediate a resolution.
  • You’re just at a loss. Determining the very best care solution for aging parents could be complicated, and it’s not unusual for members of the family to feel uncertain about what the best solution will be. A geriatric care manager can provide you with what your choices are, and what the advantages and disadvantages might be for each option.

If you are interested in locating a geriatric care manager to help improve care for a senior loved one, contact At Home Independent Living at (315) 579-HOME (4663).


Communicating With Dementia Patients – Try These Nonverbal Techniques

 November 12, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

adult-daughter-hugging-senior-mother

Connecting with a senior trying to cope with the struggles of Alzheimer’s, especially in the middle and later stages, could very well be frustrating – both for you and for a senior loved one. Brain changes impact the ability to listen, process, and respond effectively to conversations, and it’s up to us to put into action new approaches to communicating to more successfully connect with an individual with dementia. (more…)


Learn About the Healing Power of Laughter for Seniors and Family Caregivers

 November 6, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

happy-laughing-senior-woman

Have you ever felt yourself getting ready to bubble over with unrestrained laughter at the most inopportune moment – in a packed elevator, a quiet waiting room, or a religious service? Even though there are, obviously, times when we must suppress the silliness, author Jane Heller says that, “Humor can keep us balanced, even in the grimmest of times. It reminds us that despite illness and disability, there are moments of real joy in life and we need to embrace them.” (more…)


Depression in Caregivers of the Elderly Is Common: Protect Yourself with These Tips

 October 23, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Depression in Caregivers of the Elderly

There’s no question that it’s an incredible honor to care for people we love. Family caregivers experience a closeness and bond with those in their care that generally far outweighs the downsides. But there are downsides. A perpetual to-do list to make sure the senior you’re providing care for is as happy and healthy as possible. Household chores and errands to run. Job obligations. The requirements of other family members and friends. And don’t leave out self-care.

The result is an often daunting level of stress, that when left uncontrolled, can rapidly transform into burnout and even depression in caregivers of the elderly, which can appear in any or all of the following ways:

  • Feelings of frustration, sadness, hopelessness, stress
  • Difficulty with falling or staying asleep through the night
  • Lack of interest in previously-enjoyed activities
  • Eating more or not as much as usual
  • Delayed thinking
  • And if left untreated, suicidal thoughts and even attempts at suicide

This short online evaluation makes it possible to determine if you may be experiencing depression.

Fortunately, there are a number of easy steps you’re able to take to lower your potential for falling into depression:

  • First and foremost, make an appointment with the doctor for assistance
  • Refrain from isolating yourself and ensure an abundance of opportunities for socialization apart from your caregiving relationship
  • Remain active, both physically and mentally, with activities you enjoy: swimming, playing a sport, reading, volunteering with a cause that is important to you personally

While it may be challenging for family caregivers to carve out the time essential for self-care, it’s vital to the wellness of both the caregivers themselves and the seniors in their care. Lots of times, family caregivers feel as though they need to do it all by themselves – after all, they understand the individual a lot better than anyone else, and in some cases it just seems much easier to manage things on one’s own.

An overly stressed, burned out, or depressed caregiver should have trusted, reliable support – and the best news is, it is readily available! A skilled, in-home caregiver can provide as much or as little caregiving assistance as necessary. Perhaps, for example, you want to continue to make most of the meals for a senior loved one – but would like some help with cleaning up the kitchen afterwards. Or maybe the senior would feel more at ease with an experienced care provider providing help with personal care needs, such as bathing and using the toilet.

At At Home Independent Living, the top providers of in-home senior care independent living in NY, we know how complicated life can feel for family caregivers, and we work with families to create a strategy of care that meets each person’s individual desires and needs. Let us assist with reliable, professional respite care. Call us at (315) 579-4663 any time to find out more.


Marietta Home Health Experts Share 5 Triggers for Dementia Exacerbation

 October 16, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Dementia Exacerbation

While there are particular commonalities, Alzheimer’s disease impacts every individual differently. Our highly trained dementia caregivers know, for instance, that while someone may enjoy being outside, a different person may be overwhelmed by so much sensory input and prefer a quieter indoor environment. One may love a morning bath routine, while a bit of resourcefulness is necessary to help a different individual manage good hygiene.

We also know that there are particular triggers which can often lead to dementia exacerbation. Family care providers should be particularly careful to help their loved ones with dementia to avoid the following:

  1. Individuals diagnosed with dementia may not be in a position to identify when they are thirsty, or may resist when provided fluids. It’s crucial to ensure appropriate hydration to prevent added weakness and confusion. Plain water is most beneficial; nonetheless, if refused, try flavored waters, together with different types of cups or bottles.
  2. Those with dementia suffer from loneliness as much as anyone else, and without having enough social stimulation, could become progressively agitated or paranoid. A knowledgeable care provider, like those at At Home Independent Living, who are fully trained in dementia care, can provide suitable socialization, giving members of the family a much-needed break from care.
  3. It is not unusual for those with Alzheimer’s disease to experience an elevated appetite for cookies, cake, and other sugary snacks; however, these may also result in increased irritability. Try offering a number of healthier options, such as fruit, yogurt, or sugar-free goodies.
  4. Sleeping pills. With the challenges of common sleep problems including sundowning, it may be tempting for family members to offer sleeping pills to a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s to encourage a more restful night. However, they increase the risk for falls and other accidents and add to confusion and fogginess. Talk with the senior’s health care provider for an all-natural sleep-inducing alternative.
  5. Be aware of what is on television; shows containing criminal activity, violence, and even the nightly news can instill fear and paranoia in individuals diagnosed with dementia. It might be far better to leave the television off and engage the senior in alternative activities, such as games, puzzles, reading together, exercising, and reminiscing – or choose to watch films you’ve very carefully evaluated to ensure content is suitable.

Every member of our dementia caregiving team is highly trained and experienced in providing person-centered, compassionate care to successfully manage the difficulties inherent with Alzheimer’s, and to improve quality of life. Call At Home Independent Living’s Marietta home health experts at (315) 579-4663 for further dementia care tips, and for an in-home consultation to discover how our specialized in-home Alzheimer’s care can make life brighter for your senior loved one.


How to Cope with a Medical Diagnosis You Don’t Want to Hear

 October 9, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Medical Diagnosis

In Isaac Asimov’s opinion, “The easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists.” It’s a standard response for lots of family caregivers when their loved one receives a difficult medical diagnosis, such as dementia. And while this could generate some measure of comfort in assuming that life can go forward like it always has, if only we will not admit this new reality, the truth, of course, is the fact that acceptance is essential to obtaining necessary support. (more…)


Researchers Have Made Tremendous Advancements in Cancer Research: Here Is a Recap

 September 20, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

senior woman with cancer and daughter

On an annual basis since 1999, we have achieved an increasing decrease in cancer-related deaths, an encouraging trend that is poised to continue as scientists learn more and more about the causes of cancer and are in a position to identify new and better treatment options. But, cancer remains among the primary causes of death in America, second only to heart disease – making it important to continue to press ahead with determination to find a cure. (more…)


New Research Spotlights Women’s Increased Risk for Alzheimer’s

 September 16, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

erase Alzheimer's

Researchers are finally starting to get a grip on the imbalance between Alzheimer’s diagnoses in females and males. Presently, as many as 2/3 of those with Alzheimer’s in the U.S. are female, and as scientists continue to better grasp the particular nuances driving this trend, we are able to start addressing them. (more…)


Technology, an Ally Helping Seniors Maintain Safety and Wellness at Home

 September 11, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

senior woman on video call

Whether you’re looking to tune a guitar, learn a new language, or just add cats’ ears to a selfie, there is an app for that! And for seniors who choose to age in place, technology may very well be a key component in maximizing safety, comfort, and overall well-being. (more…)


Research Now Links These Common Prescriptions with Increased Dementia Risk

 August 21, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

dementia risk

They are currently understood to cause various short-term side effects, such as memory loss and confusion, but new research links a number of the stronger anticholinergic drugs (such as those prescribed for Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, depression, and overactive bladder) to a markedly increased risk for dementia. (more…)