May 13, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

An older adult who exhibits loss of memory, confusion, poor judgment, repetition, and problems with completing day to day activities has the distinguishing signs of Alzheimer’s disease, right? Actually, what seems like an obvious case of Alzheimer’s may in fact be a newly recognized dementia.

Known as LATE, or limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy, this diagnosis presents with almost identical symptoms, but the root cause is another story. As opposed to the buildup of amyloid plaques and tangles inherent with Alzheimer’s, LATE is diagnosed by deposits of TDP-43 protein, according to Dr. Julie Schneider, associate director for the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

And TDP-43 protein issues are in fact quite common in seniors, with as many as one in four older adults over age 85 impacted enough to cause recognizable cognitive and/or memory issues. Yet it continues to be an under-diagnosed condition, which might result in mis-diagnoses, and consequently, inappropriate treatment plans.

The latest guidelines call for seniors who have been diagnosed with LATE to be pulled from Alzheimer’s medication research, focusing research alternatively on establishing biomarkers to better detect LATE, to locate therapeutic intervention methods, and to expand testing to include a broader array of diverse populations, in an effort to perfect both prevention and treatment.

Being familiar with the differences between both types of dementia is paramount to appropriate treatment, and according to Dr. James Pickett, head of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, “This evidence may also go some way to help us understand why some recent clinical trials testing for Alzheimer’s disease have failed – participants may have had slightly different brain diseases.”

Key components of LATE include:

  • Generally affecting older adults over age 80
  • A much slower advancement than Alzheimer’s
  • Usually only affects memory
  • Could be combined with Alzheimer’s disease, which leads to an even more rapid decline

Whether Alzheimer’s disease, LATE, or some other form of dementia, At Home Independent Living provides the fully customized, skilled and creative caregiving that helps senior loved ones live the highest possible quality of life where it’s most comfortable: at home. Our care aides are fully trained and experienced in assisting those with dementia, as well as family caregivers, to more effectively manage the varying challenges experienced in each stage.

Contact us any time at (315) 579-HOME (4663) to ask about further dementia care resources, find answers to your questions, or to schedule a consultation to discover more about how we can assist with home or respite care in Syracuse, NY and the surrounding areas.


 April 14, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

Providing dementia care is a fluid, ever-evolving process. One day can be calm and peaceful, with your loved one enjoying activities, eating healthy meals, and sharing laughter with you; while the next day may be fraught with agitation, anxiety, and sullenness. What will today bring? 

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 March 19, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

Dementia care involves both compassion and creativity to deal with a number of complicated behaviors and effects, and that is particularly true when dealing with incontinence in dementia patients, something that is exceedingly frequent with the disease. These tried-and-true approaches can be effective in decreasing the impact of incontinence and reducing an escalation of emotions in someone you love with Alzheimer’s. (more…)


 February 19, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

Agitation is among the more difficult symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and it may be incredibly hard for family members to control. One of the keys is in taking steps to deal with agitation before it is felt and conveyed by the senior loved one, which involves keeping track of what has caused these feelings in the past, and creating a home environment in which those stimulants are removed or minimized. These strategies can help: (more…)


 February 12, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

The intricate steps needed to enable us to see are mind-boggling. Within the blink of an eye, our brains are able to take transmitted specifics of the world all around us, translate that information based on input from other senses, memories, and thoughts, and then form an understanding of that information to make us aware of what we are seeing. (more…)


 January 10, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

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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 November 12, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

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…)


 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.


 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 with dementia is personal hygiene issues, for a number of reasons: (more…)