October 9, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

In Isaac Asimov’s opinion, “The easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists.” It’s a standard response for lots of family caregivers when their loved one receives a difficult medical diagnosis, such as dementia. And while this could generate some measure of comfort in assuming that life can go forward like it always has, if only we will not admit this new reality, the truth, of course, is the fact that acceptance is essential to obtaining necessary support. (more…)


 September 20, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

On an annual basis since 1999, we have achieved an increasing decrease in cancer-related deaths, an encouraging trend that is poised to continue as scientists learn more and more about the causes of cancer and are in a position to identify new and better treatment options. But, cancer remains among the primary causes of death in America, second only to heart disease – making it important to continue to press ahead with determination to find a cure. (more…)


 September 11, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Whether you’re looking to tune a guitar, learn a new language, or just add cats’ ears to a selfie, there is an app for that! And for seniors who choose to age in place, technology may very well be a key component in maximizing safety, comfort, and overall well-being. (more…)


 August 14, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

When it comes to chronic diseases, the elderly are often the experts, with as many as 3 out of 4 seniors affected by multiple conditions that are chronic, require extensive treatment, and place limitations on activities. With the constant barrage of bloodwork and other exams, physicians’ appointments and procedures, and medications, managing chronic conditions can take both a physical and emotional toll, and might very quickly become stressful. (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…)


 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…)


 May 23, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Think of a typical day in the life of a senior loved one. Hopefully it includes a number of positive and enriching activities: enjoying breakfast, engaging in a fun pastime or interest, visiting with a friend or family member, watching a favorite TV show. Yet there’s a difference between positivity and purpose; and the importance of a life rich with meaning and purpose is becoming more apparent, particularly in the life of older adults. (more…)


 May 16, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Of the many effects of Alzheimer’s disease, perhaps one of the most alarming is the person’s propensity for wandering and the potential dangers that can arise if the senior becomes disoriented or lost. Dementia wandering can occur if the senior is: (more…)


 May 9, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

“I’m telling you, there’s a dog in my closet! I hear it growling all night long. We’ve got to find its owner!”

Hearing your older loved one voice concerns such as this that you know to be untrue is unsettling – but not uncommon. Your first instinct may be to try to rationalize with the person with a response such as, “Nonsense! There’s no way a dog could have gotten into your closet!” Yet for a variety of reasons, this is often the least effective way to manage irrational thoughts and behaviors in the elderly. (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.