Ideal Caregivers 4u



Month: January 2020

Valentine’s Day Card

Yes, it’s that time again! February has arrived and with it comes feelings of love, visions of pink and red paper hearts, and tastes of rich, delicious chocolate!

In today’s activity, share your heart with a crafty card to present to your loved ones on Valentine’s Day!

“Heart-Air Balloon” Valentine’s Day Card 

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 pieces of colourful craft paper (pastels of pink, yellow, red, blue or colours of your choice)

  • 1 sheet of card stock for the card

  • Heart shape cookie cutter or free-hand stencil

  • Pencil/Pen/Markers

  • Glue

  • Scissors

  • String *optional

What to do:

  1. Fold 1 sheet of cardstock in half to create a card. Set aside.

  2. Using your heart shape stencil and colourful paper, cut out a total of 4 hearts. We like to use one colour for each heart.

  3. Fold each of the hearts in half, so that the fold is down the middle, creating a vertical fold line.

  4. Take one heart and place some glue on one of the sides. Attach another heart to it.

  5. Repeat until all 4 hearts are connected by one side.

  6. Place glue on the ends of the “string” of hearts and secure it to the front of your card.

  7. Next, using another piece of colourful paper, cut out a “basket” design or simple rectangle. Glue about 2 inches from the bottom of your heart balloon design.

  8. Using a marker or pen, or even a small piece of string, draw a line from the bottom edge of the balloon design to the basket. Repeat with the other side.

  9. Add decorative touches such as clouds, birds, trees or sea!

  10. When completed, write your message of love and send!

Scroll through the images to see step-by-step instructions!

Berry Smoothie Bowl

Healthy Living Starts HOME

Sleeping in and skipping breakfast can be a big risk for serious which results in malnutrition and fatigue when they skip this important daily meal.

We want our loved ones to have a healthy breakfast to regulate metabolism and appetite while providing a boost of energy that can help them function throughout their day.

Ideal Caregivers 4u have skilled, qualified and educated Personal Support Workers who can prepare your loved ones with daily meals.

Total Time – Prep/Total Time: 5 min.

Makes – 2 servings


1 cup fat-free milk

1 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries

1/2 cup frozen unsweetened raspberries

3 tablespoons sugar or 1 tablespoon of honey

1 cup ice cubes

Optional: Sliced fresh strawberries, fresh raspberries, chia seeds, fresh pumpkin seeds, unsweetened shredded coconut and sliced almonds 


Place the milk, berries and sugar in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Add ice cubes; cover and process until smooth. Divide mixture between 2 serving bowls. If desired, add optional toppings.

Nutrition Facts

1-1/2 cups: 155 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 2mg cholesterol, 54mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (30g sugars, 2g fibre), 5g protein.

Nutritional needs change as you age however no matter how old you are, breakfast will always be the most important part of your day to stay healthy and happy.



Connect with us for more information about our Weekly Meal Care plans.


Spinach Apple Salad


Spinach Apple Salad is one of our favourite and easiest ones to make. It’s made with a delicious mix of sweet and savoury ingredients, it’s tossed with a tangy white wine vinaigrette, and it’s always a crowd favourite!

Prep time: 15 MINUTES Total time: 15 MINUTES yield: 4 -6


~10 ounces baby spinach

~2 large apples, cored and thinly sliced (Choose your 2 favourite apples)

~half a small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

~1 cup walnut halves, toasted (or pecans)

~2/3 cup dried cranberries

~5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (or feta cheese)

~1 batch white wine vinaigrette (see below)


~1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

~1/4 cup white wine vinegar 

~2 tablespoons lemon juice

~1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

~1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

~pinch of salt and black pepper (optional) 

~1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (optional) 



Add spinach, apples, red onion, walnuts, dried cranberries, and half of the goat cheese to a large bowl.  Drizzle with the vinaigrette, and toss to combine. Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining goat cheese.


Add all ingredients together in a bowl and whisk to combine.  Or, add all ingredients to a mason jar, cover, and shake to combine.


Ever think that there is noise or ringing in your ears? This is commonly known as Tinnitus. It is a common problem affecting nearly 20% of people.

Tinnitus, however, isn’t a condition itself — it’s a symptom of what could be an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.


Tinnitus involves the sensation of hearing sound when no external sound is present. Tinnitus symptoms may include these types of “noises” in your ears:

  • Ringing

  • Buzzing

  • Roaring

  • Clicking

  • Hissing

  • Humming


A common cause of tinnitus is inner ear hair cell damage caused by bent or broken tiny, delicate hairs in your inner ear. These hairs move in relation to the pressure of sound waves and release an electrical signal from your ear to your brain.

Here are some possible causes for Tinnitus:

  • Age-related hearing loss

  • Exposure to loud noise

  • Earwax blockage

  • Ear bone changes

Anyone can experience tinnitus, but exposure to loud noises, age, smoking, and cardiovascular problems may increase your risk. Also, tinnitus is more prominent in men.


In many cases, tinnitus is the result of something that can’t be prevented. However, some precautions can help prevent certain kinds of tinnitus.

  • Use hearing protection. Over time, exposure to loud sounds can damage the nerves in the ears, causing hearing loss and tinnitus. If you use chain saws, are a musician, work in an industry that uses loud machinery always wear over-the-ear hearing protection.

  • Turn down the volume. Long-term exposure to amplified music with no ear protection or listening to music at very high volume through headphones can cause hearing loss and tinnitus.

  • Take care of your cardiovascular health. Regular exercise, eating right and taking other steps to keep your blood vessels healthy can help prevent tinnitus linked to blood vessel disorders.


If you suffer from tinnitus, speak to your doctor to assess possible causes for the condition. Tests may include hearing tests or depending on possible causes, a CT or MRI scan. Once the underlying cause of the tinnitus is determined, your doctor may review some treatment options. This could include earwax removal, receiving hearing aides, or changing medications that may impact the condition.

Red Lentil & Chickpea Soup

Looking for a warm dish to bring you in from the cold?

Try this flavourful soup recipe using easy to find pantry staples and a little creativity!

Red Lentil & Chickpea Soup



3/4 cup red lentils

5 cups of water

1 pkg/cube of broth/stock (we like the Minestrone Soup mix from Knorr, but you can opt for a veggie or chicken stock)

1 garlic minced

2 – 3 tsp cumin

1 can of chickpeas drained and rinsed

1/4 cup chopped parsley or cilantro

*optional: fresh lemon to taste and fresh spinach for the bottom of a soup bowl.


  • Rinse lentils, drain.

  • In a large pot combine lentils water and soup mix, garlic and cumin.

  • Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

  • Reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

  • Add chickpeas, simmer for 5 minutes.

  • Serve in individual mugs or bowls and garnish with parsley.


Community Quilt

Quiltmaking has been around for centuries for protection and insulation during cold weather, but also as a way for families to communicate their shared past.

In this week’s activity, why not make a community quilt designed by your loved ones or elderly clients you serve?! Creating a quilt can seem time-consuming at first, but by replacing some of the materials and tools with simple, easy craft items on hand, this can be a great way to socialize, share memories, and come together as a family or community group.

Material options: 

Objects, such as fabric scraps, colourful craft paper, wallpaper samples, etc., cut into different sized squares. The largest being 10cm x 10cm (you can opt for larger if you wish).


If using plain craft paper, use markers, paints, or pencil crayons to design each square for a more personalized quilt patch. Ensure to cut them into a variety of square sizes. The largest being 10cm x 10cm (or larger!)

  • Craft or fabric glue. You may also use a hot glue gun if preferred.

  • Single hole punch

  • yarn or thick string to attack each patch made by your loved ones


  1. Using your choice of materials, set the largest square as your base

  2. Arrange a variety of square pieces by layering one on top of the other using glue

  3. You may wish to arrange your squares in a variety of locations within the larger square patch for a more unique design.

  4. Once all patches are completed and dried, use the single hole punch to cut a circle in each of the corners of your large square.

  5. Assemble your community quilt by using the yarn or thick string, to attach each one by threading and knotting through the holes made.

  6. Hang your quilt on a wall to display for all to see!

Slow Cooker Beef And Broccoli

Fast and easy creation by IDC 4u Meal Assistance Program – Crockpot Pot Beef and Broccoli recipe – toss the beef in cornstarch, add the broccoli, that’s it!

Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 2 Hours Total Time: 2 Hours, 10 Minutes

Course: Main Course Cuisine: Asian Servings: 6 servings 


1 cup beef broth

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup oyster sauce

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1 tablespoon canola oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds boneless beef roast, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 heads broccoli, cut into florets


2 cups of water

1 cup of rice

1 tsp butter

1 pinch salt


In a medium bowl, whisk together beef broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, Canola oil and garlic.

Place thinly sliced beef into a 6-qt slow cooker.

Add sauce mixture and gently toss to combine.

Cover and cook on low heat for 90 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup water and cornstarch. Stir in cornstarch mixture and broccoli into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 30 minutes. Serve immediately. Calories: 492 calories per serving


Add all ingredients for the rice to a rice cooker and have it cooking while cooking your beef and broccoli.

Serve at the end.

An Asian Meal created in the slow cooker by IDC 4u Meal Assistance Program– no sauteing, no stirring, no frying.

It doesn’t get easier than that!

We offer Mealtime Assistance Program (MAP) prepared and created meals by our personal caregivers to provide optimal assistance to all your loved ones who are no longer able to cook for themselves, forget to eat or need help to eat at mealtime.

Cannabis and its Benefits for Seniors

We often hear about the benefits of the use of Cannabis, or Medical Marijuana, on adults as a form of health maintenance and/or for relief of chronic pain and illness. We gathered some useful details from a variety of sources to provide you with information to make a knowledgeable decision on its beneficial uses for yourself or your elderly loved ones.

**This is for informational purposes only. Seek advice from a health care practitioner or licenced producer/seller**

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis refers to the plant Cannabis sativa. The cannabis plant originally comes from Asia. It is now grown around the world, including in Canada.

Chemical substances in Cannabis

Cannabis contains hundreds of chemical substances. Over 100 of these are known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are made and stored in the plant’s trichomes. Trichomes are tiny, clear hairs that stick out from the flowers and leaves of the plant.


The most researched cannabinoid is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is responsible for the way your brain and body respond to cannabis, including the high and intoxication. THC has some therapeutic effects but it also has harmful effects. Harmful effects may be greater when the strength of THC is higher. Medical marijuana contains THC.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is another cannabinoid. Unlike THC, CBD does not produce a high or intoxication. There is some evidence that CBD may block or lower some of the effects of THC on the mind. This may occur when the amount of CBD in the cannabis is the same or higher than the amount of THC. CBD is also being studied for its possible therapeutic uses.

How Medical Marijuana can help

Choosing to use cannabis for medical purposes should be done in consultation with a health care provider. The evidence of the effectiveness and safety of cannabis for treating medical conditions is still emerging. The limited evidence that is available is not specific to older adults.

There are studies that show some potential medical benefit for the use of cannabis in these specific cases such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy

  • Muscle contractions or stiffness associated with multiple sclerosis

  • Chronic neuropathic pain

  • Palliative and end-of-life pain


One of the primary uses of medical marijuana is to help cancer patients, especially when they are going through rounds of chemotherapy. Some studies have shown that smoking marijuana can help with nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients.

Alzheimer’s & Dementia


Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease have sometimes turned to medical marijuana to help with their treatment to assist with symptoms of depression and loss of appetite that may come along with the degenerative brain disease.

In 2014, there was a preclinical study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease that analyzed the “potential therapeutic effects of THC” on the disease.” Researchers introduced THC to beta-amyloids, which are clumps of proteins that build-up on the brain and are one of the leading signs of the presence of Alzheimer’s. They found that THC helped slow the advancement of these beta-amyloids, and the results from the study “strongly suggest that THC could be a potential therapeutic treatment option for Alzheimer’s disease through multiple functions and pathways.”

Pain Management

Almost all seniors have experienced some sort of pain in their later years, and medical marijuana can help with that. What’s interesting is that you often don’t need to ingest the marijuana to reap the medical benefits of the plant. There are rubs, creams, and lotions infused with THC that can seep through your skin and attack a small, singular area of pain.

Seniors often have to deal with chronic joint pain and pain from arthritis. CBD has shown promise in temporarily alleviating this pain through both user testimony and clinical studies.

Mental Health


When it comes to anxiety, a 2015 study showed that oral doses of CBD helped lower anxiety in patients with Seasonal Affective Disorder. The same study showed that CBD could also be potentially effective for patients with PTSD or Generalized Anxiety Disorder.


Aside from anxiety, depression among seniors is unfortunately very common. Ailing health, loss of friends and family, and isolation can all cause stress and depression. A 2014 study with CBD and rats showed that the substance demonstrated some anti-depressant like actions, including increased movement and sleep regulation.

Jean Guy’s Story

When it comes to Cannabinoids for pain & comfort, combined with my need to be focused for my career, where I must be clear-minded and not feeling like I am under any influence, I tend to consume around the 10 % THC range. This is based on being titrated and adjusted to THC, and with equal or higher CBD % in volume in a blend of Sativa and Indica i.e. a 1:1 combination. If you are not aware, Sativa tends to activate the mind and gives you more energy. While Indica tends to relax the body and mind.

For persons new to Cannabis/THC, they should start at around a 5% THC range or lower.

  • THC has psychoactive components i.e., Feeling of being high

  • CBD does not have psychoactive components and helps with inflammation-related conditions.

  • That said, combining both CBD & THC in moderation helps with the medical alleviation.

In the daytime, I go with a higher concentration of Sativa Strains and later in the evening I go with a higher concentration of an Indica, including full Indica for bedtime deep sleep/relief.

I also consume my cannabinoids in microdose increments and do not over-medicate which would create unproductiveness. For example, single intake/inhalation spread out over the daytime hours, allows me to feel relief throughout the full day while also being productive.

I stick to unflavored oils when vaping to avoid any additional chemicals when vaping for health reasons. Vaping is very discreet and great for my daytime/business usage.

Later in the evening, at times I enjoy smoking flower strains in a pipe when at home. I will take my evening walks with the dogs, enjoy the Indica in multiple inhalations for a sound night’s sleep.

Always be mindful that each person reacts differently to each strain they consume. That said, if you are not accustomed to cannabinoids, start with a lower THC concentration with a higher CBD concentration. Thereafter once accustom, increase the THC to the 1:1 concentration during the day or higher if needed.

The variety of available products legally in Canada has expanded dramatically from oils to flowers, drinks, edibles etc… making it easier to meet your lifestyle needs.

There are multiple articles such as this one for cannabis and sciatica, that walk people through the type of stains that are best fitted for the medical condition speaking to alleviate.


Ottawa Public Health – Cannabis for Older Adults

Government of Canada – Cannabis

Ontario Cannabis Store – Complete Guide to Medical Marijuana for Senior

Strains for Sciatica

Smoothies for Health

There are many options for getting in the nutrients and vitamins you need to keep yourself and your elderly loved ones healthy.

Some smoothies can help with digestion, inflammation, anemia, and even anti-ageing! It’s all in the ingredients! Check out these easy and delicious smoothie recipes that can be used to supplement your diet or mix with meal supplements, such as Ensure, to get all of the nutrients you need. 

Banana Mango Smoothie

1 cup frozen mango 1 large banana 1 TB chia seeds (optional) 1/2 cup orange juice 1/2 cup almond milk (or regular or coconut milk) Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. (Makes 2 large smoothies)

Low Sugar Strawberry Smoothie

With less than 10 grams of sugar makes it particularly good for diabetics.

8 fl oz unsweetened soy milk 1 cup spinach 5 medium strawberries ¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt ⅓ cup cooked oats (cooled) 1 tbsp chia seeds 1 stevia packet Combine all of the ingredients into a Nutribullet cup or straight into a blender. Pour in the unsweetened soy milk to the fill line. Blend together until smooth and consistent. 

Supercharged Kale-Avocado Smoothie

To make this heart-healthy smoothie, you will need:

1 cup coconut water

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp matcha powder

1 cup fresh kale, stemmed

1 cup fresh spinach

¼ ripe avocado

2 pitted dates

1 cup ice

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve chilled. Enjoy!