February 23, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

With a great deal of negative news in the forefront of 2020, it is worth reflecting on a few of the remarkable achievements the year brought – including the advancements in dementia research. Katie McDonough, director of programs and services at the Alzheimer’s Association, shares, “There are many things that we’re learning and it’s an exciting time for Alzheimer’s research.”

Listed below are just some of the milestones reached that are leading us ever closer to a cure:

  • Identification of Alzheimer’s risk factors. Understanding the leading risk factors for dementia, including pollution, excessive alcohol consumption, and traumatic brain injury (among others), is estimated to lower cases of Alzheimer’s worldwide up to 40%.
  • Falling rates of Alzheimer’s cases. Over the previous three decades, dementia diagnoses in North America and Europe have declined by 13% per decade – most likely the result of lifestyle changes.
  • Advancements towards earlier diagnosis. The Early Detection of Neurodegenerative diseases initiative (EDoN) has been started, in which digital devices are increasingly being developed to diagnosis dementia much earlier – as early as 10 – 15 years before symptoms begin.
  • Greater awareness of MCI. Mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, is now being evaluated more thoroughly, making it possible for earlier strategy, diagnosis and treatment.
  • Dementia blood tests. Predictors for the risk of Alzheimer’s disease have become more sophisticated, and in a recent study from Sweden, medical researchers uncovered blood-based proteins that anticipate future thinking and memory problems.
  • Review of antipsychotic drug treatments. A recent study conducted by the University College London reported an elevated rate for the prescription of antipsychotic drugs for people with Alzheimer’s disease – potentially from the greater dependence on delirium management as well as agitation and anxiety from COVID-19 restrictions. These medications are recommended only when no alternative is available, and ways to decrease their use are being further explored.
  • Artificial intelligence. At a faster pace and less expensive, an innovative new AI solution is equipped to determine the form of proteins in the brain, helping scientists design therapeutics to help remove these proteins.
  •  Aducanumab. The FDA accepted this promising medication in 2020 for a priority review process, meaning that sometime early in 2021, we should be finding out if it’s approved for use within the general population.

With At Home Independent Living, exceptional providers of dementia care in Fayetteville, NY and nearby areas, we are focused on following the most current dementia research, and on offering the cutting-edge, highly skilled care that helps those with dementia live to their greatest potential. Whether the need is for full-time care, or just a couple of hours weekly for dependable respite services, contact us for more information about how we can help.


 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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 February 8, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

The fear and isolation as a result of COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the wellbeing of older adults, with nearly half of seniors surveyed in a Kaiser Family Foundation poll stating that their amount of stress and worry was adversely affecting their own health. Even though it still may be hazardous to visit in person with senior loved ones, it’s important to stay in regular and frequent contact, and also to look for any signs or changes that may signify a mental health concern, such as elderly depression.

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 October 20, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

With many seniors taking multiple prescriptions, and with doctors adding and changing medications and dosages to determine the perfect solutions, it is critical to know what to do with medications that are no longer needed or which have expired. There are several options: (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.  


 April 7, 2020 by Dean Bellefeuille

A recent study of over 2,000 seniors reveals that an astounding 87% take at least one prescription drug, and a full 36% are taking five or more – in addition to 38% using over-the-counter meds on a regular basis. Managing senior medicine can be extremely challenging, and there are a number of risks and dangers that can arise in the process.  

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 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…)


 November 19, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Family care providers recognize that navigating the journey of choosing appropriate care resources for a senior can seem like trying to traverse the ocean in a rowboat – blindfolded, and blindsided by the buffeting surf and winds. The likelihood of making it safely to your destination are fairly slim without the recommended tools, and an expert to assist you in the best way to utilize them.

That is where a geriatric care manager (also known as an aging life care professional) can step in and save the day. Geriatric care managers are specialists in the various intricacies of aging, available resources, resolution of issues pertaining to family dynamics, and much more.

Available for short-term consultations up through and including full-time help and support, there are a few key instances when a geriatric care manager is especially beneficial:

  • Distance separates both you and your loved one. Living in Michigan while your aging parents are in New York, even with today’s technology, makes it challenging to make certain they’re completely cared for and safe. A geriatric care manager can provide supervision of care, frequent visitations, and assistance with decision-making.
  • A difficult behavioral issue is at play. When a senior is challenged by dementia or any other diagnosis that creates behavioral concerns, a geriatric care manager can be an integral part of the older adult’s care team, providing information on appropriate specialists and helping to find a remedy to troubling behaviors, which can include aggression, wandering, or sundowning.
  • The senior won’t open up about health concerns. Older adults commonly want to keep their adult children from worrying, and as a result, withhold crucial health information – but are frequently open to talking with a professional geriatric care manager about their worries.
  • There are living condition concerns. For instance, if a loved one resides in an assisted living community that will not permit you to hire a personal caregiver when additional assistance becomes necessary, a geriatric care manager can provide extensive information about both the community itself and your state’s relevant laws, and will help mediate a resolution.
  • You’re just at a loss. Determining the very best care solution for aging parents could be complicated, and it’s not unusual for members of the family to feel uncertain about what the best solution will be. A geriatric care manager can provide you with what your choices are, and what the advantages and disadvantages might be for each option.

If you are interested in locating a care manager to help improve care for a senior loved one, contact At Home Independent Living at (315) 579-HOME (4663) to learn more about our Camillus home care and the surrounding communities we serve.


 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…)


 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…)