Ideal Caregivers 4u



Month: May 2020

Understanding Anxiety Disorders

Mental health plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and aging well overall. Many older adults may not be able to tell you exactly how they are feeling, and others do not express it with any visible signs, so they may “seem ok”, but really they may be suffering from a variety of challenges.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, it is estimated that the prevalence of mental health problems in adults over 65 years ranges from 17 to 30 percent.

What is Anxiety? 

That feeling of worry, tension, and nervousness that many people feel are classified as anxiety. Everyone expresses it differently, and at times, anxiety can be helpful in small doses, such as a motivator to be more productive in finishing a task with a short deadline. However, when these feelings become so strong that they affect the person’s ability to perform tasks that were once simple and routine, the person may have an anxiety disorder.

What are Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety disorders are a group of illnesses including Phobias, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Panic Disorders. These disorders alone, or in combination, can pose serious limitations on a person’s ability to function with everyday life skills, be social with others, and at times may lead to other conditions, such as depression.


Phobias are strong feelings of anxiety about what some would term as irrational fears of situations or objects. Phobias can range from a fear of spiders (arachnophobia) to the fear of the outdoors (agoraphobia). Although problematic depending on the phobia, many are treatable, and may not be as disabling as other kinds of anxiety disorder.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Those with OCD have a pattern of frequent, repeated actions that are a result of repeated anxious thoughts. For example, a person may become obsessed with the fear of getting robbed. Therefore they feel compelled to check the doors and locks repeatedly. However, the anxious thought about having their items stolen appears shortly afterward, making the person check their doors and locks again and again in a cycle, to the point where it’s the only thing that person thinks about.

Panic Disorder

This illness is generally classified with the onset of a panic attack. Panic attacks typically include extreme physical attributes such as difficulty breathing, pounding heart, and dizziness, or trembling. Panic attacks are triggered by any number of fearful or anxious thoughts or events.

How to Manage Anxiety

Self-Care – Eating healthy, getting regular exercise, and finding time to do activities that you enjoy are all ways that can benefit us and lead to fewer feelings of anxiety.

Finding Calm – Meditation, a quiet space, and breathing techniques are ways that we can bring more calm into our lives. These opportunities for silence can also allow you to become aware of what triggers your anxiety and can make a positive impact on your mind and body.

Stay Connected – Relationships are important for a variety of reasons. Connecting with loved ones and close friends can reduce the amount of worry that occurs when we are alone. Staying connected is also a great way to seek help from close friends and relatives when you are feeling anxious or worried.

Seeking Help

If you or a loved one is experiencing these or any other mental health crisis, please reach out to the services below, or speak to your family doctor.

  • Find services close to home by searching the Ontario Health Care Options directory.

  • Contact Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 or They provide free professional counselling by phone or online and can connect young people to information and local help. Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 for children and youth between the ages of 5 and 20. Online chat is also available at certain times — check the website for hours.

  • Speak to a counsellor or nurse.

  • Tell your family doctor.

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

Sometimes switching up your breakfast routine is the best way to combat “food boredom” and excite your senses and your creativity! So try something new, like this delicious French Toast recipe!

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

Serves 2 people


  • 4 slices Raisin Bread, preferably thick slices

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)

Topping Options

  • Powdered/icing sugar

  • Cinnamon

  • Maple Syrup

  • Blueberries, Strawberries, Bananas (your choice of fruit)

  • Walnuts or Pecans


  1. Heat lightly greased pan/skillet over medium-high heat. You may add a tsp of butter for added flavour in the pan

  2. Beat egg in a shallow bowl with milk and cinnamon.

  3. Place slice of bread into egg mixture and coat both sides. Do not leave it in the bowl for too long, or it will soak up egg mixture)

  4. Gently place coated bread into pan and brown on each side.

  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 for each slice of bread

  6. Serve with a dash of cinnamon, powdered sugar, and fruit or nut toppings. Don’t forget the syrup!

Colouring Bookmarks

Combining the love of colouring and of reading, this activity provides our seniors with an opportunity to use their creativity and allow them to keep track of their favourite passages in a book.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Pencil crayons or markers

  • Scissors

  • Printer paper or cardstock for the thicker/durable bookmark

  • Ribbon or string **optional

  • Bookmark template (see below)


  1. Download and print the Bookmark Template below

  2. Carefully cut out each bookmark with scissors

  3. Using pencil crayons or markers, colour each book mark

  4. Let dry to avoid any smudges

  5. Use in your favorite book!

Download template below. 

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998.

We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

Fun Facts: Cows!

We see them across rolling green pastures during a drive out in the countryside. These large, yet graceful animals are often grazing on grass, lounging in the field, or huddled together to socialize.

Cows are known to be quite social and although they may be laying about, they are in fact relaxing as they do not sleep very long during the day!

We have gathered a few more fun facts about these often misunderstood animals! 

 Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998.

We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

Dice Game for Men & Other Seniors

Playing a variety of games, either board games or physical games like horseshoe/bean bag toss, is a great way to get senior men involved in activities whether at home or in a home-care community. We found a fun dice game that would interest men and women alike! It can be played with other residents, a caregiver, or on their own.

We like to encourage socialization, so playing with a partner is encouraged, but consider the needs of your loved one before beginning play. 

Cover the Box – Dice Game

Objective: Cover all numbers on your game card first, to win!


– A pair of dice (with dots or numbers)

– Game card for each player (included below)

– Small counters/buttons or cut pieces of paper to use for covering the numbers on game board (at least 24 for each player)

How to Play:

  1. Provide a game card and 24 counters/small paper pieces to each player

  2. To determine who begins, have each player roll the dice, highest number goes first

  3. Using both dice, take turns rolling.

  4. Looking at the numbers they rolled, the player may cover both numbers or, depending on their ability, add the numbers together and cover the sum. For example, if they roll a 5 and 3, the player may choose to cover both a 5 and a 3 on the game board, or they may cover the 8 (5+3=8), depending on what numbers they have left on the board.

  5. First to cover all numbers, wins!


When the remaining game card numbers re below 7, the player may choose to roll one of the dice, instead of both.

Playing a dice game like the one above is a fun way to gather together, share some laughs, and encourage activity opportunities for all. It promotes motor skill functioning in the grasping, shaking, and rolling of dice as well as encourages cognitive ability when counting, matching, comparing, and recognizing numbers. 

Click on Game board image or pdf below:

Cover the Box Dice Game
Download PDF • 144KB

5-Minute Oatmeal Breakfast

When cooking for yourself or elderly loved ones, time is of the essence. Making meals that take only a few minutes or can be prepared ahead of time can ease your hectic morning routine.

Benefits of Oatmeal

  • To some, oatmeal’s texture and taste can be off-putting, but its health benefits cannot be ignored!

  • They are high in antioxidants

  • One of the most nutrient-rich foods

  • Contain high sources of fibre to help with feeling satisfied longer, can help lower cholesterol and aid in digestion

5-Minute Oatmeal Recipe 



  • 1 cup rolled oats

  • 2 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 1 medium banana, mashed

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • pinch of salt

  • Blueberries, fresh


  1. Combine all ingredients into a small saucepan and turn heat to medium/high.

  2. Bring to a boil. Then, turn the heat down to low/medium and continually stir for around 3-5 minutes as the oatmeal cooks and thickens.

  3. Once oatmeal is at the desired consistency, remove from heat, and serve immediately with fresh blueberries.

World MS Day!

On Sunday, May 30th communities around the world share stories, honour, and raise awareness of those individuals who are affected by Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The theme for this year’s event is “Connections”. The MS Connections campaign is all about building community connection, self-connection and connections to quality care. To find out more, visit the World MS Day website here.

What is MS?

According to the MS Society of Canada, we have one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the world, with an estimated 90,000 Canadians living with the disease. Approximately 60% of adults diagnosed with MS are between the ages of 20 and 49 years old, however, young children and older adults can also be diagnosed with the disease.

MS is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. This system includes the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve, therefore, MS can affect a person’s vision, memory, balance and mobility.

Common Symptoms of MS

Due to the nature and type of MS an individual may have, the symptoms can range in variety and intensity depending on what area of the nervous system is being affected. Below are some of the symptoms experienced by those with MS. For a more detailed and comprehensive list and description, visit the MS Society of Canada website.

  • Balance/Dizziness

  • Bladder Dysfunction

  • Bowel Dysfunction

  • Cognitive impairment

  • Depression

  • Fatigue

  • Difficulty in walking

  • Pain

  • Tremors

  • Weakness


Researchers are trying to isolate a cause for the disease and looking for ways to repair the damages it causes. However, there are a variety of ways to manage symptoms. This may range from medication to non-medicinal strategies such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, exercise programs and alternative and complementary treatments.

If you or your loved one has been diagnosed or is developing symptoms of MS, consult your doctor for treatment, support, and service options.

For more information or to find out how you can contribute to MS Awareness and Research, visit:

MS Society of Canada

World MS Day

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998.

We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

May 25: This Day in History

On this day in history, start a conversation with your elderly loved ones about nostalgic automobiles, television shows and films, and one of the most historical moments in U.S. history – the moon landing!


Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998.

We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.

Card Games for Seniors

Finding engaging activities for seniors can be a challenge, however, playing card games seem to be the one universal enjoyment for many older adults. It provides socialization and a sense of the familiar as they reminisce about their childhood and early years with family and friends.
For those with dementia, selecting games that have few rules, take less time to play, and that they can play confidently can be quite beneficial to engage them, as well as boost their self-esteem. 


A popular game where players make pairs out of the cards in their hand, either by asking the other player for a specific card or by picking up cards from the pile. The player that runs out of cards first, wins.

What you’ll need

2 people and a standard deck of playing cards.

How to play Go Fish

  1. Deal 5 cards face down to each person.

  2. Put the rest of the cards in a pile in the middle of the table.

  3. Player 1 chooses one of their cards, for example, a 5, and asks Player 2 “Do you have a 5?”

  4. If Player 2 has a 5, they give Player 1 that card. Player 1 takes both 5s from their hand and puts them face down. Player 1 gets to go again since they guessed correctly and got a card from Player 2.

  5. If Player 2 does not have a 5, they tell Player 1 to “go fish.” Player 1 takes a card from the pile in the middle of the table. Now it’s Player 2’s turn to ask.

  6. Keep going until somebody makes pairs of all the cards in their hand and wins.

Modified “21” or Blackjack

For those with mild cognitive impairment or a strong mathematical ability, this game is a great option! Similar to regular Blackjack, players must get close to “21” as possible without going over.

How to play with 2 people

  1. Deal 2 cards to each person using the “one for you, one for me” method.

  2. Each person decides if they want additional cards or not.

  3. Compare cards to see who wins – whoever is closest to 21 without going over is the winner.

Whichever game you choose, remember to be patient and have fun! It’s not always about following the rules, but spending time together instead!

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998.

We are now accepting clients in Smith Falls, Kemptville, Prescott, Brockville, through to Kingston, Ontario.