Ideal Caregivers 4u



Month: September 2020

Butternut Squash Soup

Finding the perfect fall weather dishes is as easy a quick search on the internet in or in your favourite cookbook! Look for meals or dishes that are savoury, warm, and filling. We found this heart-warming vegan recipe online, and it’s sure to please any eater!

Butternut Squash Soup

Serves: 6 


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 (3-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

  • ½ tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

  • 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper and sauté until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the squash and cook until it begins to soften, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes.

  2. Add the garlic, sage, rosemary, and ginger. Stir and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant, then add 3 cups of the broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

  3. Let cool slightly and pour the soup into a blender, working in batches if necessary, and blend until smooth. If your soup is too thick, add up to 1 cup more broth and blend. Season to taste and serve with parsley, pepitas, and crusty bread.

3 Tips to Get Active

The Autumn season has officially started and it’s a great time to be active! Not only is the weather outdoors more comfortable with the cooler temperatures, but it’s also a visually stunning time of year especially in Canada where the leaves are changing colours!

Of course, being active outside isn’t the only way to maintain your overall health. There are also great indoor activities you can try too!

Here are 3 tips to getting active and help you to improve or maintain your health at any age!

Find what you Enjoy

The most important tip is to find an activity you like, such as swimming or cycling. When you enjoy an activity, you are more willing to continue and participate in the activity on a daily or weekly basis. Select from a range of aerobic (continuous movements that make you breathe deeply) or strengthening activities that will keep muscles and bones strong.

Find the Time

For some of us, finding the time to exercise or be active can be a challenge. That is why starting with 10 minutes a day is a great place to begin…every bit helps! When you then start to notice that you can go a little longer, try adding another 5 – 10 minutes to your routine and build your level of intensity up. 

Make it Social

Being active also includes being social, if that’s what you choose. There are benefits to performing activities alone as a form of meditation and self-care, but taking it to another level with some activities, socialization is key! Look for group activities or fitness classes in your local community or get your family and friends active with you.

Make it Fun

If you are finding an activity you already enjoy, then it’s already fun! But what about the everyday ways we can challenge ourselves in a fun way that can also increase our activity level? Well, try taking the stairs instead of the elevator when possible. Or perhaps carry your groceries home, instead of using the car for a short distance.

Still not sure where to begin? Walk! Walking each and every day, even for just 10 minutes, can create healthy habits and has a variety of overall benefits.

Benefits of an Active Lifestyle

There are a number of benefits to staying active, such as improving your balance and posture, reducing falls and injuries, and helps you stay independent longer. For some, having n active lifestyle can help prevent heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, Type 2 Diabetes and some cancers.

Before you begin any physical activity, also speak with your health care professional to ensure it’s right for you. They will assess your current medical condition or any suspected conditions that may affect the type or duration of activities.

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998.

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

Paint Pour

Acrylic Paint Pouring is a fascinating technique of fluid movement on a canvas. Using a few materials and your own movements, you and your loved ones can create a beautiful work of art! 

What you need:

  • Acrylic Paint – a variety of colours (at least 3)

  • Latex Extender liquid

  • Silicone/Treadmill lubricant (ex. WD40 Silicone)

  • Canvas, framed and mounted

  • Plastic cups, large (red cups, etc.), for each paint colour and extra

  • Mixing tools, such as brush or craft stick

Prepare Workstation:

  • Ensure that you are using a clear, levelled tabletop surface.

  • Place newspapers onto the table to catch any spills from the paint. You may also opt to use a shallow pan or plastic tub that is larger than the canvas surface, as the paint will spill over the edges.

  • Protect clothing by using a painting bib, apron, or old clothing

  • You may also wish to wear latex or rubber gloves

Prepare Paints:

  1. In a plastic cup, pour in a fair amount of one colour of paint, depending on how many pieces of artwork you will be making.

  2. Add Latex Extender liquid (the ratio is 3/4 paint and 1/4 of extender).

  3. Add 1 – 2 drops of the Silicone and mix well.

  4. The consistency of the paint should be thinner than usual and easy to pour without being too runny or “watery”.

**You can find Latex Extender and Silicone at most hardware stores.

Paint Pour Method:

  1. Once all colours have been mixed with their additives in their respective cups, ensure that your work station prepared.

  2. Using an empty cup, begin to pour each colour (about 1/4 cup of each) into the cup one at a time, layering one colour on top of the other, WITHOUT mixing them in.

  3. Place canvas flat on the tabletop surface, and gently pour the cup of layered paints onto the center of the canvas.

  4. Immediately, using your hands, lift and tilt the canvas to allow the paint to flow across the canvas until the surface and the edges are covered in paint. **Paint WILL drip and pour off the edges, so not to worry – it will get messy!

  5. Place the painted canvas flat on a drying rack or tabletop and let dry for at least 24 hrs. 

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Fall has begun and October is just around the corner, so why not celebrate by making your OWN Pumpkin Spice Latte!?!?!?

We love to support our local coffee shops, but this recipe may be more economical and most importantly you can have it any time of the year!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Serves: 1 (Original recipe and nutrition info found here)



  • 2 tsp pumpkin purée

  • pinch of ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve (or use pumpkin spice)

  • pinch of ground ginger

  • pinch of ground nutmeg

  • 30ml espresso or strong coffee

  • 250ml milk (any will work)


  1. Place the pumpkin purée in a large heatproof glass or mug. Stir in the spices and espresso (or strong coffee).

  2. Heat the milk in a saucepan over low heat until steaming and frothy; careful not to burn/scald the milk.

  3. Pour milk into the glass or mug, and spoon over any froth. Stir to combine.

  4. Dust with more cinnamon or some pumpkin spice before serving.

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998.

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

Sleep and the Elderly

Often, as we age, we experience normal changes in our sleeping patterns, such as becoming sleepy earlier, waking up earlier, or experiencing less deep sleep. Although sleep requirements vary from person to person, most healthy adults require 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per night. However, disturbed sleep, waking up tired every day, and other symptoms of insomnia are not a normal part of aging.

According to The Sleep Foundation, the prevalence of insomnia is higher among older adults. According to NSF’s 2003 Sleep in America poll, 44% of older persons experience one or more of the nighttime symptoms of insomnia at least a few nights per week or more. Insomnia may be chronic (lasting over one month) or acute (lasting a few days or weeks) and is oftentimes related to an underlying cause such as a medical or psychiatric condition.

Many cases of insomnia, or sleep difficulties, are caused by underlying causes. Knowing the possible triggers for sleep deprivation or insomnia may help you understand the risks and how to treat the condition.

Common causes of insomnia in older adults

Here is a helpful list of some of the possible causes of insomnia, from

Poor sleep habits and sleep environment. These include irregular sleep hours, consumption of alcohol before bedtime, and falling asleep with the TV on. Make sure your room is comfortable, dark and quiet, and your bedtime rituals conducive to sleep.

Pain or medical conditions. Health conditions such as a frequent need to urinate, pain, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, osteoporosis, nighttime heartburn, and Alzheimer’s disease can interfere with sleep. Talk to your doctor to address any medical issues.

Menopause and post-menopause. During menopause, many women find that hot flashes and night sweats can interrupt sleep. Even post-menopause, sleep problems can continue. Improving your daytime habits, especially diet and exercise, can help.

Medications. Older adults tend to take more medications than younger people and the combination of drugs, as well as their side-effects, can impair sleep. Your doctor may be able to make changes to your medications to improve sleep.

Lack of exercise. If you are too sedentary, you may never feel sleepy or feel sleepy all the time. Regular aerobic exercise during the day can promote good sleep.

Stress. Significant life changes like retirement, the death of a loved one, or moving from a family home can cause stress. Nothing improves your mood better than finding someone you can talk to face-to-face.

Lack of social engagement. Social activities, family, and work can keep your activity level up and prepare your body for a good night’s sleep. If you’re retired, try volunteering, joining a seniors’ group, or taking an adult education class.

Sleep disorders. Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) and sleep-disordered breathing—such as snoring and sleep apnea—occur more frequently in older adults.

Lack of sunlight. Bright sunlight helps regulate melatonin and your sleep-wake cycles. Try to get at least two hours of sunlight a day. Keep shades open during the day or use a light therapy box.

3 Ways to Improve Sleep

Turn off Devices – Scrolling through social media, checking emails, or watching videos on smart phones, iPads, or even the television can cause an individual to suppress the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. It can also delay your body’s internal clock and make it more difficult to fall asleep.

Routine is Key – Ensuring you follow a regular routine before bed is important to maintain proper sleeping habits. Setting a schedule to wake up and go to bed, making sure the room is dark and limiting noise, and developing self0care habits such as using essential oils like lavender, playing music, or even meditating can improve your quality of sleep.

Diet & Exercise – As with all other health related concerns, diet and exercise can be the key to better sleep. Limiting caffeine and alcohol before bed, avoiding heavy meals late in the evening, and being physically active throughout the day can help in sleeping better and waking refreshed.

Chili Con Carne

Nothing says Autumn like a warm bowl of hearty chili! Made with extra-lean ground beef, tomato sauce, a few veggies, and spices, this dish will warm your heart, body and soul!

Chili con Carne

Makes 4 – 6 serving


1 tbsp olive oil

1 lb extra lean ground beef (optional for vegetarian option)

1 can (16oz) tomato sauce

1/2 – 3/4 can (8-10oz) diced tomato

1 can (16oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1-2 sweet green pepper, diced

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2 medium-sized carrots, chopped

1-1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

2-1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional or to taste)

1 tsp cumin


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and onions and cook stirring often until onions are softened. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, breaking it up in pieces as you cook.

  2. Add the carrots and green pepper stir.

  3. Add the spices and stir to coat all ingredients.

  4. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and kidney beans. Stir.

  5. Lower heat to low, cover and let cook for 45minutes to 1-1/2 hours. Add water if the chili is too thick.

  6. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, diced green onions, or a side of mashed potato or spaghetti!

Benefits of Geriatric Massage

According to Statistics Canada, the aging of our population has led to seniors over the age of 65 outnumbering children in Canada, accounting for 18.0% of the population. This growing trend of senior populations is key when considering health care implications, long-term care facilities, and support services for those with dementia and their caregivers.

As the population ages, the importance of personal health and wellness is also on the rise. In fact, many older adults (over the age of 50) are becoming more and more physically active and participating in memory-enhancing or cognitive activities, such as technology-based brain games or puzzles like sudoku or crosswords.

As seniors begin to engage in activities such as yoga, tai chi, and strength training, they are improving their quality of life and overall health and wellness. Massage Therapy Canada states that this has created a new clientele for therapists and caregivers alike – stronger, more active, elders, as well as older elders.

However, there is a population of aging adults that struggle with mobility, cognitive decline, high risk of injury, or surgeries. When this is the case, therapies, such as massage, chiropractic, and physical therapy must accommodate the changing population and functionalities of seniors. One such accommodation that is trending is the introduction of Geriatric Massage. 

What is Geriatric Massage?

Geriatric massage is a set of techniques geared toward a person of advanced age. It involves specialized movements, strokes and techniques designed for aging skin and muscles.

Benefits of Geriatric Massage

There are a variety of benefits of this type of massage for the elderly – from the emotional to the physical benefits.

As seniors, especially those in long-term care residences, are becoming more socially isolated and missing the benefits of gentle touch from family members and other loved ones. This has a significant impact on the emotional and psychological well-being of the individual and can lead to depression, further isolation, and cognitive decline. Geriatric massage from a qualified therapist can fulfill this need for elderly loved ones with the touch a massage provides.

Physical benefits range from improved mental outlook, relief from arthritis and other chronic pain, increased blood circulation, and better sleep. Other benefits include:

  • Faster healing

  • Restored range of motion and flexibility

  • Reduced anxiety, tension and stress

  • Relief from depression

  • Enhanced immune function.

There are growing studies of the benefits that the touch of massage has for those living in long-term care facilities, such as enhancing their health and well-being, a more positive and relaxed feeling, and a reduction of anxiety, stress and aggressive behaviour in a clinical study of those with dementia.

Of course, care must be taken when considering the use of massage techniques for the elderly. Considerations such as age, health conditions, pain threshold, and comfort level especially as some massage techniques may be viewed by the older population as too “personal”. Overall, the sensation of touch, whether as a hug, a back rub, or gentle massage of hands and feet is beneficial to many seniors and can greatly improve mood and a sense of belonging.

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998.

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