December 4, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

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…)


 October 23, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

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.


 August 14, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

When it comes to chronic diseases, the elderly are often the experts, with as many as 3 out of 4 seniors affected by multiple conditions that are chronic, require extensive treatment, and place limitations on activities. With the constant barrage of bloodwork and other exams, physicians’ appointments and procedures, and medications, managing chronic conditions can take both a physical and emotional toll, and might very quickly become stressful. (more…)


 August 7, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Even though the ultimate goal is always to maximize health and safety for the seniors they love, family caregivers for seniors oftentimes wind up compromising their very own in the process. Believe it or not, an incredible 94% of caregivers in a recent study conducted by Ohio State University revealed musculoskeletal pain in one or more parts of their body – and 66% mentioned this pain affecting their quality of life. (more…)


 July 8, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

At Home Independent Living, providers of top rated home care in Syracuse, NY and the surrounding areas, understands that as a family member striving for a positive senior caregiving experience, you unquestionably experience a wide range of feelings throughout the day: shared laughter over a joke with your loved one; worry due to a health concern; and of course, from time to time, irritations. We would like only the best for people we love, and if a senior loved one is resistant to doing an activity we know is beneficial, it may be challenging to choose the best response. (more…)


 June 19, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Psychologist in the research project who subsequently launched a program to combat the downward spiral of emotions so prevalent in those providing care for a senior loved one, says, “We’re not saying don’t be sad or upset about what’s going on. But we know people can experience positive emotions alongside that negative emotion, and that positive emotion can help them cope better.” (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…)


 March 13, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

While millions of older adults are struggling with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease, an even greater number of family members are struggling with taking care of them. Surprisingly, nearly 75% of family caregivers are managing their older loved ones’ dementia care needs on their own, with only 26% seeking professional care assistance. (more…)


 February 21, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

The initial signs are likely to be so subtle that a lot of people wouldn’t even recognize that anything is amiss. Mom is outgoing, pleasant, and conversational while visiting friends and family and while running errands. However, those closest to her have begun to recognize concerns: being forgetful about the soup cooking on the stove, resulting in a scorched pan. Putting her keys in the cookie jar. Neglecting to pay bills.

As an adult child of someone at the beginning stages of compromised safety or the ability to make sound choices, it is typically incredibly challenging to transition to a higher amount of involvement and assistance – nevertheless, it is also important to take the appropriate steps sooner rather than later.

Similar to broaching any confrontational topic of conversation, speaking with your senior loved one about the concerns you are seeing is likely to be met with resistance and defensiveness in the beginning. And yet, it’s useful to summarize the particular cause of your concern, and also the negative consequences if these signs and symptoms continue on or progress.

At Home Independent Living, the experts in home care in Syracuse, NY and the surrounding area, advocates this strategy:

  1. Be sure that a durable power of attorney has been assigned.
  2. Affirm with your sisters and brothers that the issue must be addressed, and discuss together what choices are accessible for the senior’s care as needs continue to grow.
  3. Remain loving but steady in your strategy. Explain the choices you’ve thought through. If she balks at the thought of relocating to an assisted living facility, which many older adults do, suggest an in-home caregiver instead, permitting her to stay independent and safe within the comfort of home.
  4. Recognize that it will probably take many conversations before the older adult accepts the necessity for assistance – which is the reason why it is essential to start the process at the earliest opportunity.

At Home Independent Living’s care team is experienced in assisting older adults to feel safe and positive about how home care services will help enhance safety and overall quality of life and well-being. As soon as your family decides the time is right for assistance, we are able to assist with highly customized care that can meet a wide array of needs, including:

  • Companionship
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Housework and laundry
  • Transportation
  • Running errands
  • Highly specialized care for dementia
  • And so much more

Whether the need is for just a few hours weekly to improve safety and socialization, full-time care, or anything in between, partnering with the top providers of home care in Syracuse, NY and the surrounding area, At Home Independent Living, improves quality of life for seniors and offers peace of mind for individuals who love them. Call us at (315) 579-HOME (4663) for an in-home assessment to learn the ways we can help.


 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…)