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…)


 November 12, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

Falls among the elderly are all too common and can have dire consequences. Taking preventative measures is key, such as assessing the home for fall risks like throw rugs and other tripping hazards, insufficient lighting, and a lack of appropriate grab bars and railings. But there’s another tactic being recommended now: creating a fall plan of care, which, when implemented properly, is being shown to reduce fall-related hospital visits by as much as 40%. (more…)


 November 6, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

While we may envision a Norman Rockwell-worthy Thanksgiving celebration, with the whole family enjoying quality time together and Grandma’s traditional feast, the reality for many families includes something unexpected: a trip to the hospital. In fact, statistics show that E/R visits for the elderly jump an astounding 10% – 20% during the holidays. (more…)


 August 23, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

Urinary incontinence can be an embarrassing issue for those who are impacted by it. The preconception behind the disorder frequently leads to patients having either a lack of facts or trusting in some common misbeliefs about incontinence. The elder care Syracuse, NY experts from At Home Independent Living provide some commonly held incontinence myths and the truth behind each: (more…)


 August 8, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

At Home Independent Living, providers of elder care Syracuse, NY families trust, understands that Incontinence, or problems with bladder control, is an uncomfortable and sensitive matter, specifically for seniors. It can lead to a wide variety of dilemmas, from skin sores to reduced socialization for people who are hesitant to leave home in case of an “accident.” Yet while urinary incontinence can affect upwards of 25 million individuals in the U.S. alone, the affliction seldom gets the attention and discussion it deserves. As a result of the lack of communication and information about senior incontinence, many older adults and caregivers feel as though there isn’t anything that can be done to bring relief. (more…)


 July 19, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

Solo agers. It’s the new term being passed around to describe the baby boomer without children. This strong and self-reliant genre faces some unique issues in aging, particularly who to designate as guardian and decision-maker if they become unable to do so themselves. In her book, Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers, author Sara Zeff Geber, Ph.D. outlines several options to consider:

  1. Sift through your support system. Usually, a solo ager’s spouse would be the natural option for guardianship and also to make critical decisions related to medical care; however, it’s worthwhile to have at least one and preferably two younger alternative options. Give some thought to siblings and their children, good friends, and neighbors, taking into account whether or not each person holds matching values and is also someone you are able to fully trust to help make decisions according to your wishes.
  2. Hire a qualified professional guardian. Professional guardians, also called private guardians or professional fiduciaries, are becoming increasingly popular for solo agers. If interested in this option, it’s crucial that you interview several candidates to make certain they’ve got the required experience and knowledge, and don’t forget to request references. Check with your attorney for recommendations, or the National Guardianship Association or Professional Fiduciary Association in your state.
  3. Accept a court-appointed guardian. If a solo ager hasn’t already selected a guardian and is suddenly not able to make care-related and/or financial decisions, a probate court will designate a guardian to handle his or her affairs.

If you are checking out potential guardians, collect answers to questions such as:

  • How long have you been in practice?
  • Have you been certified by the National Guardian Association?
  • Are you bonded and insured?
  • What is the succession plan if you predecease me?
  • Are background checks performed on all of your employees?
  • What is your understanding of the specific health conditions I’m facing?
  • What are your fees, and just how often will I be billed?

Once your guardian option is determined, ensure that your attorney updates your existing (or creates a fresh) durable power of attorney or advance medical care directive, will, and durable power of attorney for finances.

For more assistance in planning for long-term care needs, including home care in Syracuse NY, get in touch with the elder care professionals from At Home Independent Living. We are able to partner with seniors to produce a plan of care to ensure that needs are fully met now and can continue to be met effectively as needs change in the future, always in accordance with each individual’s wishes. Contact us at (315) 579-HOME (4663) to find out more.


 July 13, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That can easily be applied to the recent increase of corporations touting alternative supplements, dietary programs, and herbal concoctions as a way to cure, or at least lessen the outcomes of Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Association would like to alert us, however, to proceed with caution when exploring treatment ideas for a loved one with dementia – and always seek the doctor’s authorization prior to trying anything new.
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 July 6, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

Undergoing surgery for older adults usually involves some inherent risks, but there is a little-known effect impacting a large number of seniors after medical procedures that we all have to be aware of: POCD (postoperative cognitive dysfunction). POCD takes place in more than 25% of older adults during the days or possibly weeks just after non-cardiac surgery, and may present with a number of symptoms, some that can be almost indiscernible: forgetfulness, loss in concentration and focus, along with other forms of cognitive decline that affect standard of living.

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 May 11, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

Very early on in life, we learn the story of George Washington’s misadventure with the cherry tree and his bold admittance to his parents, “I cannot tell a lie; I chopped down the cherry tree!” Honesty is integrated within our character, and in many cases telling a tiny white lie can wrack us with guilt. But could it actually be beneficial to fib when we want to communicate and provide dementia support to a loved one with Alzheimer’s? (more…)