The Dangers of Dehydration in Seniors and How to Help

 January 17, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

happy-senior-woman-drinking-coffee

Did you realize…approximately one half of all seniors are chronically under-hydrated, as reported by a recent research study conducted at UCLA? Not only that, but older adults over age 65 represent the highest group of hospital admissions as a consequence of dehydration.

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With Dementia Care, Laughter Is Truly the Best Medicine

 January 10, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

two-senior-women-laughing

Caring for a person you love with dementia is obviously nothing to laugh about. However, studies are increasingly pointing to the benefits associated with laughter, and adding it into dementia care could be precisely what the doctor ordered to boost overall wellbeing for a senior loved one.

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Be a Senior’s Care Advocate by Asking The Doctor These Important Questions

 January 3, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

senior couple talking with doctor

Of all of the many responsibilities a family caregiver encounters, perhaps one of the most daunting is managing medical issues. The National Council on Aging estimates that approximately ¾ of all seniors are identified as having at least two chronic diseases, and are seeing an average of four medical specialists.

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A New Hope for Alzheimer’s Treatment May Be Coming in 2020

 December 18, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Alzheimer’s Treatment

After 16 long years without any viable treatment options for Alzheimer’s, there is some hope on the horizon, in a stunning reversal on the formerly-rejected antibody therapy, aducanumab. The most recent research reveals that high doses of the medication do, in fact, reduce cognitive decline in early Alzheimer’s. (more…)


Meaningful Resolutions to Help Relieve Family Caregiver Stress

 December 11, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Family Caregiver Stress

If you’re one of the 8% of Americans who actually achieve their New Year’s resolution goals, congratulations! But if you’re like most of us, you’ve given up before even turning the calendar page to February. While of course it’s admirable to strive to better ourselves by resolving to lose 10 pounds or eat healthier, for busy family caregivers, there are some truly meaningful, attainable goals that can improve life throughout the year. (more…)


Helping Aging Parents with Finances: Tips for Working Together Well

 December 4, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Helping Aging Parents with Finances

One of the hardest challenges for older adults is accepting the need for help with financial matters. Finances are both highly personal and a representation of our independence, and adult children in particular are often met with resistance when attempting to help aging parents with finances. (more…)


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.