Embracing Gratitude: Seniors and the Meaning of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a special time of year when we come together to express gratitude for the blessings in our lives. While this holiday is often associated with family gatherings and feasts, it’s important to recognize the unique role that seniors play in embodying the true spirit of Thanksgiving. In this blog, we celebrate the wisdom, resilience, and generosity of seniors, highlighting their profound contributions to the essence of this cherished holiday.

  1. The Wisdom of Age:

Seniors are a living testament to the value of gratitude and reflection. With years of life experience, they have learned to appreciate the small joys and endure the challenges that come their way. Thanksgiving offers an opportunity for seniors to impart their wisdom to younger generations, sharing stories and life lessons that remind us all to be thankful for the journey we’ve traveled.

2. Passing Down Traditions:

Thanksgiving is a time-honored tradition that has been passed down through generations. Seniors play a crucial role in preserving and enriching these traditions. From sharing secret family recipes to teaching the importance of giving back, seniors ensure that the true meaning of Thanksgiving is passed on to future generations, fostering a sense of continuity and connection within families.

3. Gratitude in Adversity:

Many seniors have faced adversity throughout their lives, yet they continue to find gratitude amidst challenges. Whether it be health issues, financial struggles, or the loss of loved ones, seniors exemplify resilience and a remarkable ability to see the silver linings. Their unwavering spirit serves as a powerful reminder to be grateful, even in the face of adversity, and to cultivate a positive outlook during difficult times.

4. Generosity and Community:

Thanksgiving is a time for giving, and seniors are often at the forefront of charitable acts within their communities. From volunteering at local food banks to organizing fundraisers for those in need, seniors demonstrate an unwavering generosity that inspires others to join in the spirit of giving. Their selflessness is a shining example of the true essence of Thanksgiving – coming together to help and uplift one another.

5. Cherishing Time Together:

For many seniors, Thanksgiving is a precious opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones. Whether it’s gathering around the dinner table or engaging in cherished traditions, this holiday serves as a reminder of the importance of family and connection. Seniors savor these moments, cherishing the bonds they have formed over a lifetime and creating lasting memories to be treasured for years to come.

As we gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, let us take a moment to acknowledge and honor the invaluable contributions of seniors. Their wisdom, resilience, and generosity serve as a guiding light, reminding us of the true meaning of gratitude and thankfulness. May we embrace their presence and carry their spirit of giving throughout the year, recognizing that seniors enrich our lives in countless ways. This Thanksgiving, let us express our heartfelt appreciation for the seniors among us and the profound impact they have on our lives.

Nurturing Connections: Meaningful Ways to Connect with a Loved One Living with Dementia

Connecting with a loved one who has dementia requires patience, understanding, and adapting to their changing abilities. While dementia can present challenges in communication and memory, it is still possible to maintain a meaningful connection. In this blog, we will explore compassionate ways to connect with your loved one living with dementia, fostering emotional bonds and enhancing their quality of life.

  1. Create a familiar environment:

Familiarity is essential for individuals with dementia. Creating a familiar and comfortable environment can help reduce anxiety and confusion. Arrange their living space with familiar objects, photographs, and mementos that hold sentimental value. This will provide a sense of continuity and help trigger memories and conversations.

  1. Use non-verbal cues:

As dementia progresses, verbal communication may become challenging. However, non-verbal cues can bridge this gap and facilitate understanding. Use gentle touch, facial expressions, and body language to convey love, support, and reassurance. Maintain eye contact and be attentive to their expressions and gestures, allowing for a more intuitive connection.

  1. Engage in sensory activities:

Sensory activities can be highly beneficial for individuals with dementia, as they stimulate the senses and evoke memories. Incorporate activities involving touch, smell, taste, sight, and sound. Simple activities such as listening to music, smelling flowers, or engaging in gentle hand massages can create moments of joy and connection.

  1. Embrace the power of music:

Music has a profound impact on individuals with dementia. It can help evoke memories, improve mood, and promote emotional connections. Play songs that hold personal meaning or are from their past. Sing along together or encourage them to tap their feet or clap their hands in time with the music. Music can be a powerful tool to connect on a deeply emotional level.

  1. Practice reminiscence therapy:

Reminiscence therapy involves recalling and discussing past memories, which can be particularly meaningful for individuals with dementia. Look through old photo albums, watch home videos, or read aloud from their favorite books. Encourage them to share their memories and validate their experiences. This not only fosters connection but also helps preserve their sense of identity.

  1. Focus on moments of joy:

When connecting with a loved one with dementia, focus on creating moments of joy and engagement. Engage in activities they enjoy, such as gardening, painting, or listening to their favorite stories. Celebrate small achievements and milestones. By embracing joy and positivity, you can create a nurturing and uplifting environment.


Connecting with a loved one living with dementia requires adapting to their unique needs and abilities. By creating a familiar environment, using non-verbal cues, engaging in sensory activities, embracing music, practicing reminiscence therapy, and focusing on moments of joy, you can cultivate a strong and meaningful connection. Remember, it’s the moments of genuine connection and love that truly matter in the journey of dementia care.

If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia and is experiencing challenges, our Dementia and Alzheimer’s service can truly make a difference in their lives. We invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation or call us at 617-326-1500 to learn more about how we can support your family during this difficult time.

What to do when your parents refuse help but need it.

You start noticing changes in your elderly loved one’s behavior. They’re struggling with activities of daily living or there has been a decline in their hygiene. These are common signs that indicate your loved one needs additional care. Other signs include rapid weight loss, a cluttered or disorganized house, forgetfulness, loss of interest in activities they enjoy, or frequent injuries or bruises. When you notice that your loved one is struggling to take care of their health and home, it’s important to know which options of care are available. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, it’s time to start having the difficult conversations with your loved one.

We call these difficult conversations for a reason. Aging loved ones usually feel hesitant about the idea of having a caregiver come into their home. Reasons as to why your loved one feels concerned or hesitant are often caused by a communication gap or misunderstanding. The fear of losing independence, feeling incompetent, or needing to change their daily lives is scary for most people, especially the elderly. Excluding your loved one in the conversations you and the rest of the family are having regarding their care, increases the communication gap, and increases the chance of misunderstandings. Another cause of resistance is caused by emotional distress that they experience. A rapid decline in health and the ability to do daily tasks can cause anger and frustration.

It is important to acknowledge and understand your loved one’s fears and frustrations to have more meaningful and easier conversations. Carefully listen to their concerns and how they feel about the idea so they know their voice is heard. Here are some important tips on how to approach your aging loved one when they resist care.

  1. Start Conversations Early

It is important to start having conversations with your loved one as soon as you start to see signs of decline in their health and conditions, especially if they have already ended up in the hospital. Remember to approach the topic from a place of love and compassion. Keep a calm tone and neutral expressions while talking, to help your loved one feel safe and confident. In the case of increasing cognitive impairment, the longer you wait to have the conversation, the more difficult it will be to explain and convince them that they need help!

  1. Listen And Acknowledge Their Emotions And Feelings

To have the best outcome, acknowledge your loved one’s emotions and concerns. Showing empathy for the situation will make a big difference in how they react. Once you can understand why your loved one is resistant, you can develop an action plan which is more in alignment with what your loved one will be comfortable with. 

  1. Share Your Concerns With Them

Again, when talking about your specific concerns, always remember to address things calmly and lovingly. You could mention specific instances or differences you’ve been noticing in their behavior. By pointing out certain situations, your loved one will more likely be open to listening and learning about care options. If your loved one happens to become defensive, avoid a potential argument. Instead, acknowledge that you understand how difficult this is for them. Be sure to include facts about the consequences of not getting help. 

  1. Establish Common Goals

Establishing common goals is the most important step in having these conversations. Ask your loved one that their goals are. Would they like to remain at home? Would they be comfortable with a caregiver in the home? By realizing what their goals are and aligning those goals with you and your family’s goals. You can adjust and organize the level of care. 

  1. Include A Professional 

Set up a call with a professional to answer any questions you and your loved one may have. It is important to include your loved one in the conversation to make sure that their fears/concerns are being heard. The feeling of inclusivity will help empower them to feel like they have some control in the decision making process. A professional will also be able to explain the current situation to your loved one perhaps in a more clear, concise, and unbiased perspective. 

  1. Avoid Putting Too Much Pressure

Once again, it is important to introduce the conversion early. As the situation worsens the more pressure you and your loved one will feel. If your loved one continues to refuse any type of care, bring someone else, someone who they trust like a close friend or a sibling, into the conversations. 

  1. Keep Notes Of Conversations 

Your loved one might not be able to recall certain conversations or details about the conversations previously discussed. Keeping notes of conversations will help your loved one more easily recall and understand the situation at hand. 

We hope that these tips help you get the care your loved one deserves. If you have any questions regarding our caregivers or services, sign up for our complimentary consultation and we will happily help you with getting services in place. 

Meet Marlene Martin: Caregiver of the month, September 2020

Caregiver of the month, Babette Home Care

We would like to introduce you to our first official Caregiver of the Month, Marlene Martin. Her love and passion for caregiving is evident in her work and she has been a great asset to the Babette Home Care team. We got together with Marlene, eager to know why she decided to become a caregiver and what has been the driving force to her passion and success.

Interviewer: Why did you decide to become a caregiver?

Marlene: I decided to become a caregiver because I love taking care of the elderly. I grew up with my grand-mom and when I began to notice that she could no longer do certain things like she used to, I remember rushing to get things done for her before she even got the chance to do them so I could save her the hardship. This is where my passion started for the elderly.

Interviewer: What is your favorite thing about working with Babette Home Care?

Marlene: My favorite thing about working for Babette Home Care is the genuine love, care, and friendly environment that I get to be a part of. The company is so welcoming, and I feel cared for by the team.

Interviewer What would you say is your superpower as a caregiver?

Marlene: My superpower is my ability to bring a smile and joy to my clients when they see me. This lets me know that my presence makes a positive impact on their lives.

Interviewer: What would you like to do when you retire?

Marlene: When I retire, I am going to become a full-time minister. However, I still want to be a part of the elderly’s lives so I plan on visiting them and providing moral support.

A breakdown of Senior Home Care

Home is where the heart is.

When it comes to Senior Care, there are a variety of options available for your loved one to choose from including; Home Care Agencies, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Independent Living Facilities, Assisted Living Facilities and Continuing Care Retirement Communities. Each of these facilities include their own sets of pro’s and con’s and different ways in which they serve the elderly community.

We created this infographic which breaks down the basics of home care and our hope is that this breakdown will help you make a more informed decision about what kind of care is right for you.

This image is a breakdown of the impact of Home Care on individuals, families and the healthcare industry.
What is Senior Home Care.

 For additional questions on the different types of home care please visit our services.

Why Home Care is more important now than ever before.

Elderly washing vegetables

Home care is growing at a rate like never before, according to an article published by Business Insider, the home healthcare market is growing at an annual compound rate of 7% and will reach an estimated 173 billion USD by 2026. The rapid growth is caused by not only the changes in societal and demographics in the United States but, also due to the increase in the demand for home-based care consequently by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The pandemic has caused a rapid acceptance of telemedicine and home healthcare to be more widely used and accepted throughout the healthcare industry. Remote monitoring technologies have also become a more popular way in which to take care of loved ones at home. We could say that Covid-19 is a catalyst for health care innovation. Home care combined with virtual care is now more popular and therefore, increased safety procedures and training has been put into place to ensure that caregivers are equipped to handle the drastic changes which we are currently experiencing.

According to a recent article by Mednews, over 40% of Covid-19 related deaths have occurred in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Taking into consideration this shocking statistic, it’s easier to understand why our elderly loved ones are trying to avoid being placed in long-term care facilities to stay at home, and family members are removing their loved ones from them and bringing them back at home.

Breaking down the importance of home-care 

Security and Safety 

Our homes are considered a crucial place for security and safety. Allowing your loved one to be taken care of in the comfort of their own homes will have multiple benefits not only on their physical health by reducing the risk of being infected but also on their mental health. Financial security is also important as home care helps minimize healthcare costs and readmission rates.

Separation from loved ones

Families being separated and not knowing when they will be able to visit or see loved ones is another reason why home health care is beneficial. Eliminating the hard time being separated from loved ones is a great weight taken off families’ shoulders.


The isolation and fear that elders have been facing being the most vulnerable group during this pandemic has caused a major increase in mental health issues including depression, anxiety etc. Individualized care provided with home care could have a positive effect and reduce the feeling of isolation and loneliness. Companionship and care will help your loved one feel at ease and reduce the risks of mental-health related problems. The ease of mind can extend their health and life span.

Navigating concerns

Home caregivers are able to meet the needs of clients in an extremely personal and individualized manner. All concerns that loved ones may have are able to be more easily navigated with great compassion and care, attributing to the ease of mind.

Freedom and Independence

Elders receiving in-home care are able to live their lives happy and independently in the comfort of their own homes. Having the option to eat the meals that they love and enjoy can make a huge difference in their overall happiness and quality of life. They even get to build a connection with their caregiver which gives them so much joy and freedom. They feel heard and are seen completely with one on one care.

As Covid-19 has allowed the world to look at home care for seniors in a more holistic way, the industry will continue to grow and develop. Caregivers will be more trained and ready to assist as new healthcare models will continue to develop. It’s important to keep educating families on the effects and benefits that home care can provide. To learn more about home care services read here.

How COVID-19 has impacted Elder’s mental health

COVID-19 Mental Health

As lockdown rules and restrictions ease in most states and we enter into a new normal way of life, most of us are now able to go back into the office or visit our favorite restaurant, whilst using a mask and following social distance guidelines. The months of isolation and lockdown are slowly but surely coming to an end. Unfortunately, this is not the case for most of the older population who are still under threat of being infected by COVID-19. Older adults who may have a weaker immune system or suffer from underlying health conditions have had the highest COVID-19 risk and mortality rate.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 out of 10 COVID-19-related deaths reported in the United States have been among adults aged 65 years and older. As seen on the graph below, the older you get, the higher the risk of hospitalization caused by COVID-19. 


In most cases, this is why elders are still being advised to remain in isolation and shelter in place whilst the rest of us re-enter society. This pandemic has had psychological impacts on most people due to the increased levels of anxiety, panic, adjustment and chronic stress. The elderly, who are aware that they are the most vulnerable group, continue to face the chronic stress, loneliness, social isolation, fear and anxiety caused by the uncertainty of when this will all come to an end and the continuing threat that this virus holds for them. 

It’s important for family members  and caregivers to understand how they can help improve their loved ones’ mental state during this time. Here are some great resources and tips we have put together in hopes that it will be most beneficial to you and your loved one. 

Activities to help elder’s well-being during extended isolation:

  • Physical activity such as stretching or yoga. 
  • Cognitive activities such as crossword puzzles, wordsearch, art. 
  • Connecting with loved ones online via Facebook, email and facetime.
  • Reading books or magazines. 
  • Relaxation activities including meditation, breathing exercises. 
  • In-room or in-home gardening.
  • Going on a virtual trip. 

How to help manage the stress and uncertainty:

  • Educate your loved one, without scaring, on the facts and updates about the COVID-19 pandemic, by sharing simple facts so that they will be less likely to believe false rumors or constantly watch the tv for updates and therefore, will have less stress. 
  • Share positive stories with them about other elders and high risk individuals who have contracted and successfully beat Covid-19.
  • Communicate all instructions on precautionary activities in a clear, calm and respectful way. 
  • Make sure you are staying in contact with your loved one and encourage other family members to reach out. 
  • Help your loved one navigate and use devices to help stay in touch easily. 

Additional Resources: 

National Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990. Call or Text.

The Institute on Aging Friendship Line:  1-800-971-0016. If you need a friendly voice or support, The Institute on Aging Friendship Line is available 24/7 year-round in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese. 

By continuing to offer support and communication to your loved one, you can help them significantly improve their mental health during these uncertain times. It is important for us all to stand together and take care of those around us. If you would like to learn more on how Babette Home Care is taking action measures to help our elder community during these hard times read more here