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.


 October 16, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

While there are particular commonalities, Alzheimer’s disease impacts every individual differently. Our highly trained dementia caregivers know, for instance, that while someone may enjoy being outside, a different person may be overwhelmed by so much sensory input and prefer a quieter indoor environment. One may love a morning bath routine, while a bit of resourcefulness is necessary to help a different individual manage good hygiene.

We also know that there are particular triggers which can often lead to dementia exacerbation. Family care providers should be particularly careful to help their loved ones with dementia to avoid the following:

  1. Individuals diagnosed with dementia may not be in a position to identify when they are thirsty, or may resist when provided fluids. It’s crucial to ensure appropriate hydration to prevent added weakness and confusion. Plain water is most beneficial; nonetheless, if refused, try flavored waters, together with different types of cups or bottles.
  2. Those with dementia suffer from loneliness as much as anyone else, and without having enough social stimulation, could become progressively agitated or paranoid. A knowledgeable care provider, like those at At Home Independent Living, who are fully trained in dementia care, can provide suitable socialization, giving members of the family a much-needed break from care.
  3. It is not unusual for those with Alzheimer’s disease to experience an elevated appetite for cookies, cake, and other sugary snacks; however, these may also result in increased irritability. Try offering a number of healthier options, such as fruit, yogurt, or sugar-free goodies.
  4. Sleeping pills. With the challenges of common sleep problems including sundowning, it may be tempting for family members to offer sleeping pills to a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s to encourage a more restful night. However, they increase the risk for falls and other accidents and add to confusion and fogginess. Talk with the senior’s health care provider for an all-natural sleep-inducing alternative.
  5. Be aware of what is on television; shows containing criminal activity, violence, and even the nightly news can instill fear and paranoia in individuals diagnosed with dementia. It might be far better to leave the television off and engage the senior in alternative activities, such as games, puzzles, reading together, exercising, and reminiscing – or choose to watch films you’ve very carefully evaluated to ensure content is suitable.

Every member of our dementia caregiving team is highly trained and experienced in providing person-centered, compassionate care to successfully manage the difficulties inherent with Alzheimer’s, and to improve quality of life. Call At Home Independent Living’s Marietta home health experts at (315) 579-4663 for further dementia care tips, and for an in-home consultation to discover how our specialized in-home Alzheimer’s care can make life brighter for your senior loved one.


 July 22, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

At Home Independent Living, providing solutions for elder care and independent home care in Syracuse, NY brings you the latest guidelines from the Endocrine Society about the elderly and diabetes are surprising, to say the least: lower blood sugar is not necessarily best. And for all those who’ve been keeping a routine of finger pricks, insulin injections, and thorough monitoring of food intake, this change of course may be somewhat tough to swallow. (more…)


 July 8, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

At Home Independent Living, the Syracuse elderly care experts, 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…)


 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…)


 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 18, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

Do you recall how hard it could be when you were young to learn the concept of sharing with your brothers and sisters? Even though the importance of thinking about others’ feelings, and also being fair, was impressed upon us early on, it can still be a hurdle to lessen sibling squabbles when it comes to complicated decisions we confront in adulthood – such as the right way to fairly divide caregiving requirements for our aging parents. (more…)


 January 11, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

“I do NOT have Alzheimer’s disease! There isn’t anything wrong with me!”

If you’ve ever heard a friend or family member with dementia frustratingly communicate this or perhaps a very similar sentiment, it’s possible you have believed that individual was merely in denial and not willing to accept a tough diagnosis. The truth is, however, that oftentimes people who have dementia are experiencing anosognosia – an unawareness of their impairment. (more…)


 November 21, 2017 by Dean Bellefeuille

Let’s be genuine: providing care for an elderly family member is often tiring, stressful, and isolating. When caregiving requirements advance, particularly if a long-term disease such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease is at play, family care providers may feel as if they’re in over their heads, and getting through the standard elements of the daytime – showering, cooking food, running errands – can seem to be a hurdle too great to leap. Caring for the caregiver sadly often falls to the bottom of the to-do list and can lead to caregiver isolation. (more…)