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…)


 March 10, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

Short-term memory problems. Confusion. Inability to focus. Could it be Alzheimer’s?

Perhaps; however if you’re a cancer survivor, there is another likely culprit that might be at play: chemotherapy. Known as chemotherapy induced cognitive impairment (CICI) or “chemo brain,” effects including these can last for months and even years post-treatment. (more…)


 February 3, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

There has long been an assumption that when someone receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, the only real option for dementia care services is a nursing home. After all, it’s extremely hard for someone with cognitive decline to continue to reside at home, particularly when they live alone – or is it? (more…)


 December 17, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

Picture for a second how it could feel to grapple with the cognitive obstacles of dementia. The family and friends who are closest to you are now unfamiliar. The words and phrases that would roll off your tongue without a second thought are now just out of reach. In fact, the whole world as you once knew it has completely turned upside down, leaving you yearning for a familiar foothold. (more…)


 December 1, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

If there is one constant in the race to unravel the mystery of Alzheimer’s, it’s change. Every time scientists start to wrap their heads around new information about Alzheimer’s, the data evolves their hypotheses into a new direction. That is certainly the case with the astounding new development in the progression of the disease. (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…)


 September 16, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

Disorientation. Confusion. Memory loss. While these are certainly hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease as well as other types of dementia, they could also come about from taking particular medications. Rather than immediately assuming an inevitable diagnosis of dementia, review the following list of medications that may cause similar effects that can be mistaken for dementia symptoms. (more…)