Ideal Caregivers 4u



Month: March 2020

Putting a Spring into Your Step this Season!

Spring has begun with all of its varying weather patterns here in the Ottawa region. One day it may be mild and sunny – the next day it’s rainy and overcast, but that shouldn’t stop us from making exercise a priority this Spring!

Exercise Ideas for Seniors in the Spring 


A Nature Walk

Explore the great outdoors on your own or with a partner, friend or caregiver by taking a walk through nature. This may be in your neighbourhood or one of our many parks in the Ottawa area, such as along the Rideau Canal. You can also check out the AllTrails website or app for local trails, such as Hog’s Back Falls!

Gentle Yoga

Spend 30 – 60mins of relaxation and meditation outside in the sunshine to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. Gentle, stretching movements and deep breathing practices make yoga a restorative exercise, great for seniors with or without mobility issues. If the weather changes, check out a local recreation centre or online Yoga lessons, such as those offered for free by the YMCA found here.


For a low-impact exercise that promotes balance and coordination, give cycling a try! Taking a bicycle ride through the neighbourhood or local park is perfect for adults over 60 looking to get their heart rate up in the crisp spring air.

Tennis or Swimming

Sports like tennis and swimming promote strong balance and coordination, and when done regularly, can help you maintain a healthy weight, lower your risk of heart disease, improve lung function, reduce stress levels and strengthen your bones.

Whatever activity you choose to do in the Spring, always check with your health care practitioner to see if it’s right for you! Always remember to put safety first by dressing for the weather, staying hydrated with water, and be informed about any seasonal allergies you may have.

For partners in healthy active living, Ideal Caregivers 4u can encourage, plan and provide companionship for you or your senior loved one’s daily dose of physical activity. Call us or visit our website for more information!

Hot Cross Buns

A tradition at Easter for breakfast or a light lunch, hot cross buns are a delicious way to celebrate the holiday!

We found this tasty recipe from Taste of Home and it’s sure to please all at your Easter table!

Traditional Hot Cross Buns

Makes 2 1/2 Dozen 



  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast

  • 2 cups warm whole milk (110° to 115°)

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1/3 cup butter, softened

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 6 to 7 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup dried currants

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 2 tablespoons water


  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

  • 4 to 6 teaspoons whole milk


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. In a large bowl, combine eggs, butter, sugar, salt, spices, yeast mixture and 3 cups flour; beat on medium speed until smooth. Stir in currants, raisins and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until dough is smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

  3. Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide and shape into 30 balls. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Cover with kitchen towels; let rise in a warm place until doubled, 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°.

  4. Using a sharp knife, cut a cross on top of each bun. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk and water; brush over tops. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool slightly.

  5. For the icing, in a small bowl, mix confectioners’ sugar and enough milk to reach desired consistency. Pipe a cross on top of each bun. Serve warm.

Enjoy! Happy Easter!

Mar. 30: This Day in History

Did you know that #onthisday famous painter Vincent van Gogh was born?!

Sharing events and historical figures with the elderly can lead to great conversations and shared memories with their peers and family alike!

Let our friendly and trained team members help your loved ones re-capture moments in their lives with these historical events!

Call us today or check out our website for more information on the services we provide.

Bird Craft

Sometimes the simplest activities are most effective in providing creative and social activities for your elderly loved one.

Try this Bird on a Branch colouring page or craft option!

What you need:

Option #1

Bird on a Branch colouring page

Pencil crayons, watercolours, or paint

Embellishments such as faux feathers, sequence, beads, etc.

Craft glue *optional

Option #2

Bird on a Branch Template


Craft paper of various colours

Craft glue


Option #1 is a simple colouring page that can also be used to paint on depending on the style of paper you use to print it on. If using paint, let dry fully before framing or displaying. You may wish to add other details such as faux feathers, sequins or painted/drawn raindrops or snowflakes (it is Spring, you never know what kind of weather you will get!)

Option #2 uses a template and a base page. The base page contains the tree branch and flower buds. These can be coloured or painted in. The second page is a bird template. You may wish to assist by cutting the shapes out ahead of time using different coloured craft paper and gluing them down on the base page.

Colouring Page


Craft Page & Template


For this and more activities to do, check out the Activities section in our Blog or Subscribe to receive all content, such as recipes and health and wellness information!

Don’t forget to review our services, as we have many helping hands that can assist with any activity or personal care!

Health Benefits of Gardening for Seniors

Depending where you live, it may not look like Spring out there, but that doesn’t mean you can’t begin your spring gardening indoors!

There are many health benefits to gardening, whether indoors or outdoors. Gardening has powerful emotional, physical, and social benefits for people of all ages. Particularly for seniors, gardening provides greater opportunities for strengthening fine motor functions, relieves anxiety and stress, and encourages a positive mental well-being.

Gardening, even if it’s simply filling small pots with seasonal flowers or herbs, allows seniors with limited mobility to activate fine motor functioning in their hands when planting and watering. For others, gardening in raised garden beds, vertical wall gardens, and providing suitable tools, such as long handled and sturdy grip tools, can provide ample benefits to their physical health by building strength, lubricating joints, and strengthening range of motion and mobility. 

Benefits of gardening outdoors comes with many additional perks, such as fresh air and Vitamin D. However, even in the indoors, planting flower bulbs, mixing soil, and arranging potted herbs can elicit the senses of touch, smell, sight, sound, and depending what you’re planting – taste! It strengthens fine motor functioning, allows opportunities to socialize with others, share memories, and encourages mindfulness and focus.

For many, gardening can create a sense of purpose and is a very rewarding activity because it allows people to experience success, build confidence, and connect with their physical environment. It’s very satisfying for seniors, especially those with dementia, to nurture plants and it’s an activity that people feel naturally connected to. For people with Alzheimer’s who struggle with restlessness or agitation, gardening can bring relaxation and concentration, while relieving tension, frustration, and reduce the effects of high blood pressure.

Gardening is a great exercise for the mind and body and also boosts energy levels. So if you’re a foodie, pick up some basil, mint, or rosemary. If its the pleasing scents of flowers, try planting crocuses, daffodils, or tulips for a colourful and beautiful addition to your home. Whatever you choose, enjoy the benefits all season long!

Paranoia & Dementia

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “delusions (firmly held beliefs in things that are not real) may occur in middle- to late-stage Alzheimer’s. Confusion and memory loss — such as the inability to remember certain people or objects — can contribute to these untrue beliefs.”

Suspicions of theft, infidelity, or other inappropriate behaviour can become quite common with those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia and are more often referred to as paranoia. Although not rooted in reality, those feelings are very real to the person with Dementia. These feelings may cause the person to become fearful or even jealous. At times, the paranoia is so real, they may even call 9-1-1 or other emergency services to voice their concern.

Individuals with Dementia are trying to make sense of the world in which they now live. Confusion, memory loss and a decline in cognitive abilities contribute to these suspicions and are typically the underlying cause of their fears and distrust.

How to respond

The Alzheimer’s Association recommends these non-medical interventions.

  • Assess the situation. If the delusion or paranoia does not harm themselves or others, it’s best to ignore rather than continue the discussion which may cause further stress.

  • Offer reassurance. Reassure the person with kind words or a gentle touch. Acknowledge by saying “I know you are worried” and tell them you are here to help.

  • Use distraction. Suggest that they come for a walk with you or sit with you in another room, perhaps for a meal. Providing comfort with a well-lit room may also provide a sense of calm and reduce the shadows that may cause some of their fears.

  • Don’t take offense. Listen to what is troubling the person, and try to understand that reality. Then be reassuring, and let the person know you care.

  • Don’t argue or try to convince. Allow the individual to express ideas. Acknowledge his or her opinions.

  • Offer a simple answer. Share your thoughts with the individual, but keep it simple. Don’t overwhelm the person with lengthy explanations or reasons.

  • Switch the focus to another activity. Engage the individual in an activity, or ask for help with a chore.

  • Duplicate any lost items. If the person is often searching for a specific item, have several available. For example, if the individual is always looking for his or her wallet, purchase two of the same kind.

If someone you love has feelings of delusions or paranoia, or even hallucinations, it’s best to seek professional medical advice. Know that you are not alone. Connect with others in group or community groups to help you with a variety of interventions and strategies to help you and your loved one manage this disease and its symptoms.

Deviled Eggs

One of the traditional appetizers at our family Easter gatherings has been Deviled Eggs. Popular in Europe and North America, these bite-sized savoury eggs go as far back as Ancient Rome! The term “deviled” applies to the spicy or zesty nature of these eggs, but they are far from sinister!

Deviled Eggs

Adapted from AllRecipes. Check out their site for variations on this classic recipe! 


  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, cold

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 1 teaspoon white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped celery

  • 1 pinch paprika, or to taste


  1. Slice eggs in half lengthwise and gently remove yolks without breaking the whites. Set the whites aside in a dish.

  2. In a bowl, mash yolks with a fork.

  3. Stir in mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, mustard, salt, onion, and celery. Mix until well combined.

  4. Using a spoon or a piping bag, gently spoon the egg yolk mixture into egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika.

  5. Refrigerate until serving.

Clothespin Craft for Seniors

A great way to inspire fond memories with familiar objects is to incorporate them in every activities and/or crafts we do with our senior clients with Dementia.

One such way is by using wooden clothespins to create fun and colourful designs!

Clothespins are very nostalgic to many of our aged population and can start up stories from their childhood, family life, or even careers.

This simple craft idea begins with plain wooden clothespins, easily found in our homes, dollar stores, big-box chains, or wherever crafts and laundry supplies are found. You can also opt to using pre-coloured clothespins, depending on the needs of your loved one.

Clothespin Wreaths

What you need:

  • Wooden clothespins (between 60 – 80 depending on size of wreath)

  • Craft Paint in bright spring/summer colours (limit colours to 2 or 3)

  • Narrow sponge brush

  • Wire Wreath form (found in most craft stores)

  • Trimmings (like seashells, paper flowers, ribbons, etc.) **optional

  • Glue

What to Do:

  1. Using your wreath form, begin by clipping each clothespin to the wired form, staggering at each level of the form.

  2. Once you have filled the circular wreath form, use the sponge brush and paints and paint each clothespin, alternating between two colours.

  3. Allow paint to dry before gluing any trimmings, such as seashells, paper flowers, butterflies, etc. to decorate the wreath. **This is optional

  4. Using a ribbon/string or hooks, hang the decorative wreath on your loved one’s door as a colourful and special reminder of Spring!

**You may opt to use pre-coloured clothespins (although it’s usually a more costly option). Also we preferred to paint the clothespins while already connected to the wreath form, for ease of handling and drying.

Mar. 23: This Day in History

Sharing memories of special personal events are a great way of connecting with your elderly loved ones. However, sometimes starting conversations about important or interesting events in history can create memories and a shared experience between you both.

Begin today with these historical events that occurred on this day.