May 10, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

“You can make it, but it’s easier if you don’t have to do it alone.” – Betty Ford

No one is an island, and that’s particularly true as an Alzheimer’s caregiver. But even so, many family caregivers falter with regards to asking for or accepting the assistance they need. Because of this, stress is exacerbated as there is little or no time for self-care – a vital feature for any person in a caregiving role. (more…)


 April 20, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

Many of today’s seniors were raised during the Great Depression. They lived through a period of time when the nation was pinching pennies and cutting corners. Frugality was embedded in many of them very early on and often remains firmly in place for a lifetime. (more…)


 April 14, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

Memory loss and Alzheimer’s may seem synonymous. However, it’s important to realize that long-term memory frequently remains intact long into the progression of the disease. That is why tapping into those distant memories is an ideal strategy to help a senior with dementia stay engaged in current conversations by connecting to the past. (more…)


 April 6, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

From the moment you woke up this morning up until the end of an exhausting day, you have given your all to your older family member. You provided help with showering and dressing, prepared nutritious meals, cleaned the house, all while making sure the person was happily involved in enjoyable activities, made it for their 3:00 hair appointment, and picked up prescriptions and groceries afterwards. And while you are not doing any of these things for a pat on the back, a simple “thank you” would be nice – but is rarely offered. (more…)


 February 17, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

Most of us are jotting down notes all of the time: shopping lists, to-do reminders, appointments, meetings, events…the list goes on and on. For family caregivers, there are additional reasons for writing while managing another person’s life along with their own. (more…)


 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…)


 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…)


 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.


 November 11, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

Dementia aggression is one of the most difficult behaviors common in dementia, and it is also one of the most complex behaviors to manage as a caregiver. A senior who is usually level-headed can unexpectedly lash out in outbursts that are truly concerning: cursing, hitting, kicking, biting, yelling, or throwing things. How can you, as a family caregiver, safely help give them a sense of calm? (more…)


 November 3, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

You may have had your suspicions, or maybe it blindsided you. Mom has just received a diagnosis for a progressive disease that is going to make independent living a challenge. While there are lots of questions, one thing is for sure: she is determined to remain at home – meaning you’ll have some decisions to make about how to provide for the care she will need. (more…)