September 2, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

If you’re in a successful, lasting relationship, you know that it requires compromise, commitment, and sacrifice. The happiest relationships are the ones where both parties selflessly take care of one another. This balance shifts, however, if the person you love encounters a significant health concern, and you need to take on a spousal caregiving role. And this shift can have an adverse effect on the dynamics of your relationship if you are not vigilant, as you find yourself in this new role.

Obviously, you want to do whatever you can for your partner. However, it’s important to ensure you’re not losing your romantic connection in the process. Attempting to parent your companion may cause bitterness – for the two of you. To promote healthy boundaries, keep the following in mind:

  • Convey your love for your partner in ways that have nothing in connection with the care you’re providing. Write love letters, provide simple, thoughtful gifts, and tell the person just how much you appreciate specific attributes you notice in them.
  • Be deliberate in creating opportunities to focus on your relationship aside from the injury or illness. Continue to participate in the activities and conversations you enjoyed together before the health issue arose, altering as needed.
  • Have an open, honest discussion about how the health changes are affecting you. Brainstorm ways to find a new normal that will be fulfilling for both of you, setting new, attainable goals and dreams together.
  • Encourage your spouse to remain as independent as possible. Even though you undoubtedly have the best of intentions in wanting to help, it’s easy to cross the line into causing harm to the person’s self-esteem. Plan extra time, provide adaptive tools, and step back when you can to permit the person to do whatever they can for themselves.

If all of this seems easier in theory, there are a few specific steps you can take to make sure you’re maintaining appropriate boundaries in your role as caregiver for a partner:

  • Place some favorite memorabilia or photos from previous vacations you’ve taken in places where you’ll see them frequently, to remind yourself of the happy times you’ve had together.
  • Offer hugs, hold hands, give a back rub or shoulder massage, etc. to stay in close physical contact outside of touch that is a required component of care.
  • Keep an active social network, both as a couple and individually. The activities you engage in with family and friends might need to be modified, but should never be eliminated altogether.
  • Work on resolving any conflicts in a healthy way, bringing in a professional counselor for help if required.

An at-home caregiver is a great option to make sure your partner has all the assistance needed, letting you prioritize spending quality time together as a couple. Reach out to a Syracuse in home care company like At Home Independent Living for help. Call our care team at (315) 579-HOME (4663) to find out how our services can help you and your family. To learn more about all of the areas we serve in New York, please visit our Service Area page.


 May 10, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

“You can make it, but it’s easier if you don’t have to do it alone.” – Betty Ford

No one is an island, and that’s particularly true as an Alzheimer’s caregiver. But even so, many family caregivers falter with regards to asking for or accepting the assistance they need. Because of this, stress is exacerbated as there is little or no time for self-care – a vital feature for any person in a caregiving role. (more…)


 October 13, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

If you knew that a significantly better quality of life could be achieved for a loved one, you wouldn’t think twice about exploring that option. Yet one of the most beneficial types of care – hospice care – is one that family members shy away from, due to a range of common hospice care myths. (more…)


 June 4, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

When it comes to working together to ensure the needs of your aging parents are met, even the closest of siblings can find themselves in conflict. Emotions and stress levels are, naturally, running high. Add to that your past family dynamics and history, which tend to resurface during challenging times, and it’s easy to see how difficult this stage in life can be for each of you. (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.