February 17, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

There are particular milestones we might experience in our lives that, though not necessarily negative, are known stressors. Losing a job. Starting a new job. Getting divorced. Getting married. And one that we in the home care industry are especially mindful of: the physical and mental impact on family members who are caring for aging parents.

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 January 20, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

It may have come completely without warning: an unexpected fall that led to a fractured hip as well as the requirement that Mom stay at home with extra support. Or, it may have been building up over time, such as through the slow and incremental progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Whatever the circumstances, you have now found yourself in the job of family caregiver, and maybe are wondering specifically what this means and just how to navigate these new waters. (more…)


 January 18, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

It is way too easy to get swept up in the everyday tasks of caregiving for an older adult you adore. There is so much to be done, and often it’s just easier and a lot more efficient to do it all yourself, letting a loved one relax. After all, our elders have taken care of things for a lifetime; haven’t they earned a break? (more…)


 January 15, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

Primary caregivers for those with Alzheimer’s disease are often all too experienced with the difficulty of trying to take a quiet moment or two alone – to use the bathroom, get a brief shower, or even walk into another room without your loved one becoming anxious. Those diagnosed with dementia can experience increased fear when a member of their family is out of sight – a condition known as dementia shadowing. And the resulting behaviors can be extremely challenging to manage: crying, anger and meanness, or continuously asking where you are. (more…)


 August 20, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

It can come seemingly out of the blue: you put your loved one’s favorite tuna sandwich on the table – light on the mayo, no onions – something which usually brings her happiness. But this time, she pushes the plate away and refuses to take a bite, insisting that you’ve poisoned the meal. (more…)


 July 6, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

In an ideal world, we might perfectly compartmentalize our caregiving duties, sticking to a routine that met the requirements of a senior loved one, while enabling the time necessary to manage our assortment of other responsibilities. But naturally, life does not always follow our desired script, and conflicting needs are not unusual when caring for an older adult. Many older adults balk at the need for help, while others may come to depend too heavily on an adult child, leading to unfulfilled expectations and ultimately irritation for both parties. (more…)


 June 25, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

Searching through bins, cabinets, and closets, pulling out assorted items from drawers, and searching repetitively through a number of items might be frustrating for individuals providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, but in reality these behaviors are fulfilling a purpose. Rummaging can supply a measure of comfort for those with Alzheimer’s, through identifying familiar items and finding purpose and meaning. (more…)


 June 16, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

Stress is inevitable, and actually, not always a negative thing. After all, as the saying goes, “A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well.” Nonetheless, especially if you are providing care for a senior family member, the amount of stress can quickly intensify and be overwhelming, and when not handled well, lead to serious health issues. (more…)


 June 11, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

A time of crisis can bring out both the very best together with the worst in us. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve heard stories of people hoarding items and selling them in order to make an excessive profit, coupled with stories of heroes who selflessly met the needs of others despite their personal fears. (more…)


 April 21, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

Senior finance conversations can lead to a variety of arguments, heightened emotions, and misunderstandings. And for many of today’s seniors, who maintain a “Depression mentality” from years of saving for a rainy day and learning to “waste not, want not,” it can be hard for them to share access to finances with adult children, and to accept the need to spend some of those finances on caregiving needs. 

Talking with an aging parent about finances is most effective when started before the need arises, understanding it may take several conversations before an agreement can be reached. These conversation starters can help: 

  • “Dad, in time, we’re going to need to make some decisions about the future. Now might be a good time to sit down together and go over your wishes and the financial side of making sure we can abide by those wishes.” 
  • “Mom, I know you’re managing your finances just fine now, but what if something were to happen to your health that prevented you from paying your bills on time? It would be good to have a backup plan in place. Let’s sit down and come up with one.” 
  • “Mom and Dad, you’ve always been so good at managing your finances and providing for us while we were growing up. We want to be sure to continue that legacy, and to understand how best to help you both meet your financial obligations if the time comes that you need some assistance with that.” 

It can also be helpful to share real-life scenarios of a friend or neighbor who was victimized by identity theft, or a story from the news about the changing economy, stock market drops, changes to tax laws, etc. This can jumpstart a discussion about your aging parents’ own retirement plans and any financial fears for the future, allowing you to come to a mutually agreeable resolution, such as talking with a financial advisor together.   

Most importantly, be sure to maintain a sense of respect, never attempting to “take over” your parents’ finances, but to provide the reassurance and peace of mind that their financial matters will continue to be managed effectively. Ask your parents for advice and include them in the decision-making process. Daniel Lash, certified financial planner at VLP Financial Advisors, suggests, “Tell them what you’re thinking about doing so you give them the power to tell you what they think you should do. It’s like they’re giving you advice because that’s what parents are good at – giving advice.” 

At Home Independent Living, the top providers of home care in Syracuse, NY and the surrounding areas, offers a free in-home consultation to help older adults and the families who love them understand their options for care, and to help mediate difficult conversations such as those related to senior finance concerns. Contact us at (315) 579-HOME (4663for assistance.