December 11, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

If you’re one of the 8% of Americans who actually achieve their New Year’s resolution goals, congratulations! But if you’re like most of us, you’ve given up before even turning the calendar page to February. While of course it’s admirable to strive to better ourselves by resolving to lose 10 pounds or eat healthier, for busy family caregivers, there are some truly meaningful, attainable goals that can improve life throughout the year. (more…)


 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 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 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…)


 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…)


 June 7, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

“Of course Mom can move in with me!”

Increasingly more family caregivers are making this commendable choice on a daily basis, signifying the beginning of lifestyle changes they cannot yet truly appreciate. And while the rewards of providing care for an older parent are immeasurable, they are not without a variety of dilemmas as well. (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.


 April 5, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Not long ago, actor Rob Lowe brought caregiving into the public eye by discussing his experience of caring for his mother and the toll it took on his own life. He said, “When you’re caring for a loved one, there’s nothing you won’t do to give them as much comfort and peace of mind as you can possibly provide. Often that means you’ll skip your social obligations, wreck your diet, suffer sleep deprivation, and even risk your career.”
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