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 in home care company 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 in-home dementia care services.


 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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 February 21, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

The initial signs are likely to be so subtle that a lot of people wouldn’t even recognize that anything is amiss. Mom is outgoing, pleasant, and conversational while visiting friends and family and while running errands. However, those closest to her have begun to recognize concerns: being forgetful about the soup cooking on the stove, resulting in a scorched pan. Putting her keys in the cookie jar. Neglecting to pay bills.

As an adult child of someone at the beginning stages of compromised safety or the ability to make sound choices, it is typically incredibly challenging to transition to a higher amount of involvement and assistance – nevertheless, it is also important to take the appropriate steps sooner rather than later.

Similar to broaching any confrontational topic of conversation, speaking with your senior loved one about the concerns you are seeing is likely to be met with resistance and defensiveness in the beginning. And yet, it’s useful to summarize the particular cause of your concern, and also the negative consequences if these signs and symptoms continue on or progress.

At Home Independent Living, the experts in home care in Syracuse, NY and the surrounding area, advocates this strategy:

  1. Be sure that a durable power of attorney has been assigned.
  2. Affirm with your sisters and brothers that the issue must be addressed, and discuss together what choices are accessible for the senior’s care as needs continue to grow.
  3. Remain loving but steady in your strategy. Explain the choices you’ve thought through. If she balks at the thought of relocating to an assisted living facility, which many older adults do, suggest an in-home caregiver instead, permitting her to stay independent and safe within the comfort of home.
  4. Recognize that it will probably take many conversations before the older adult accepts the necessity for assistance – which is the reason why it is essential to start the process at the earliest opportunity.

At Home Independent Living’s care team is experienced in assisting older adults to feel safe and positive about how home care services will help enhance safety and overall quality of life and well-being. As soon as your family decides the time is right for assistance, we are able to assist with highly customized care that can meet a wide array of needs, including:

  • Companionship
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Housework and laundry
  • Transportation
  • Running errands
  • Highly specialized care for dementia
  • And so much more

Whether the need is for just a few hours weekly to improve safety and socialization, full-time care, or anything in between, partnering with the top providers of home care in Syracuse, NY and the surrounding area, At Home Independent Living, improves quality of life for seniors and offers peace of mind for individuals who love them. Call us at (315) 579-HOME (4663) for an in-home assessment to learn the ways we can help.


 February 7, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

In marriage, we consent to stick with each other for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness as well as in health – but what does not come up in our vows to one another is the way to handle the mounting needs of senior care as our parents age.

Yet with our life span increasing, it is highly recommended to have a strategy based on both the needs of our parents as they grow older, as well as the multitude of daily needs, all while honoring our cherished relationship with a spouse. It’s a challenge that’s causing tension and pressure for 80% of couples interviewed, resulting in detachment and much less quality time together. At Home Independent Living shares the following areas in a marriage that are especially impacted by caregiving for a senior loved one: (more…)


 January 16, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

With over 325 million people residing in the U.S. alone, it’s hard to imagine that loneliness could be so widespread. Yet over 50% of seniors live alone, and over a million of them are likely to be chronically lonely. In reality, roughly 50% of seniors researched stated that their main source of companionship is the television. (more…)


 December 21, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

Even though the yuletide season is usually thought of as a time that is joyous, filled with visiting with those who are nearest and dearest and picking out the perfect gifts, for older adults, it can be anything but merry and bright. A combination of lost loved ones, memories of holidays from the past, health struggles and more can impact seniors with feelings of lonesomeness and sadness. (more…)


 December 11, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

The holiday season is laden with parties, celebrations, and get-togethers. However, for an aging loved one, holiday activities require a little additional planning and preparation. Follow these holiday tips for Syracuse seniors from At Home Independent Living to be able to ensure fun and relaxed outings with family members of all ages this holiday season. (more…)


 November 15, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

Ah, the holidays: they’re either the most wonderful time of the year, or the most difficult. For many older adults who have lost loved ones, are battling chronic health conditions, or are experiencing isolation and loneliness, the holidays can trigger depression. And, the family caregivers who care for a senior loved one are also susceptible to holiday blues, due to the overabundance of stress. (more…)