October 16, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

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.


 September 16, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

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…)


 August 21, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

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…)


 July 15, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Of the many challenges pertaining to providing independent living and home health care for a senior loved one with dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association indicates that the most prevalent challenge is with personal hygiene, for a number of reasons: (more…)


 May 16, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Of the many effects of Alzheimer’s disease, perhaps one of the most alarming is the person’s propensity for wandering and the potential dangers that can arise if the senior becomes disoriented or lost. Dementia wandering can occur if the senior is: (more…)


 May 9, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

“I’m telling you, there’s a dog in my closet! I hear it growling all night long. We’ve got to find its owner!”

Hearing your older loved one voice concerns such as this that you know to be untrue is unsettling – but not uncommon. Your first instinct may be to try to rationalize with the person with a response such as, “Nonsense! There’s no way a dog could have gotten into your closet!” Yet for a variety of reasons, this is often the least effective way to manage irrational thoughts and behaviors in the elderly. (more…)


 April 19, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

The Alzheimer’s Association has issued its 2019 Facts and Figures Report, and with a full 5.8 million Americans presently diagnosed with the disease – including one out of every 10 older adults – it’s vital for people to understand the latest advancements in research and treatments.

As indicated by the report, the number of Americans identified as having Alzheimer’s disease is predicted to explode from 5.8 million in 2019 to an expected 13.8 million in 2050. Even though the effects are greatest on older adults, the disease begins to create modifications in the brain a full two decades or more before signs and symptoms are observable.

If you’re among the numerous family members providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, you are well aware of the investment in time required: coupled with other family caregivers, totaling 18.5 billion hours in 2018 alone. In reality, 83% of dementia care is provided by relatives and friends. And the impact on a caregiver’s health is significant, with virtually 60% revealing emotional stress and nearly 40% struggling with physical stress.

Risk factors were also updated in this year’s report, including:

  • Age: Unsurprisingly, risk rises considerably with age, from as low as 3% in the 65 – 74 age-group, to 17% in those ages 75 – 84, to an astonishing 32% for anyone age 85 and older.
  • APOE gene: Of the 3 kinds of the APOE gene (e2, e3, and e4), which carries cholesterol in the bloodstream, the e4 form is related to the highest prevalence associated with the disease.
  • Family history: Those with at least one first-degree relative (parents, siblings) are at an increased risk for being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and the risk grows when shared lifestyle and environmental aspects are in play (i.e. unhealthy eating or obesity).

Of considerable importance is the finding that although health care providers are encouraged to routinely evaluate cognitive functioning for all seniors, only 16% of individuals over age 65 report receiving a routine assessment, and more than 50 percent have never received an assessment of any kind – despite the fact that 94% of health care professionals noted the need for such an evaluation.

Per Joanne Pike, Dr.P.H., chief program officer for the Alzheimer’s Association, “Early detection of cognitive decline offers numerous medical, social, emotional, financial and planning benefits, but these can only be achieved by having a conversation with doctors about any thinking or memory concerns and through routine cognitive assessments.”

At Home Independent Living, the Syracuse Alzheimer’s care you can trust, continues to be invested in following the most up-to-date advancements in Alzheimer’s disease, and to provide the exceptional, highly skilled care that allows for the highest possible quality of life at all times for everyone diagnosed with dementia. Call us at (315) 579-HOME (4663) for additional educational resources related to Alzheimer’s, or if you want to learn more about our specialized Syracuse Alzheimer’s care.


 February 14, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

The most up-to-date Alzheimer’s data is sobering. The illness is currently the sixth leading cause of death, rising above both breast cancer and prostate cancer together. And while deaths from other chronic health conditions, like cardiovascular disease, are decreasing, those from Alzheimer’s have escalated more than 100%. The toll the disease takes on family caregivers is similarly shocking, with more than 16 million Americans providing over 18 billion hours of care for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. (more…)


 January 16, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

With over 325 million people residing in the U.S. alone, it’s hard to imagine that loneliness could be so widespread. Yet over 50% of seniors live alone, and over a million of them are likely to be chronically lonely. In reality, roughly 50% of seniors researched stated that their main source of companionship is the television. (more…)