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Month: October 2020

Halloween Safety Tips for the Elderly


Halloween is a time when young children dress up as their favourite action hero, princess, or cartoon character and collect delicious candy from neighbours, family, and friends. However, for the elderly, especially those living alone and who may suffer from Dementia, this time of year can be confusing and at times worrisome.

Here are some safety tips we gathered to help your elderly loved one stay safe during this annual event.

🎃If your elderly loved one lives with you and/or is able to provide Halloween treats for neighbouring trick-or-treaters, you may wish to follow some of these simple precautions:

  • Keep all floors, entryways and porches free of decorations, as they may become tripping hazards.

  • Add night lights to hallways, walkways and rooms, and keep well lit.

  • Avoid window decorations that block light or view of the front entry.

  • Use only safe pumpkin carving tools,  light pumpkin with flame-less candles.

  • Place carved pumpkins outside to keep decaying smell and bugs outside.

  • If walking outside, beware of leaves on the sidewalk. Wet leaves cause some slippery conditions, so be extra careful on pathways covered with leaves.

  • Spend the evening with them, be available to help answer the door.

  • Talk softly and reassure your loved one that he/she is safe.

  • Play soothing music or create some other type of positive distraction (such as offering a favourite snack).

  • When done with candy, or at dusk: Put a sign on the door, “Sorry No More Candy”.

🎃If your elderly loved one lives alone and may be suffering from mild to moderate Dementia, or has limited mobility, consider these options:

  • Take them to a community event or family home, and return home after dusk.

  • Send a companion or professional to be with them from 4:00-10:00 or overnight.

  • Help them answer the door and hand out candy if they wish.

  • Put out a sign when done, that says “Sorry No More Candy”.

  • Watch movies or listen to music in another room away from front door if possible.

  • Be prepared; books, albums, crafts, favourite foods, etc. to enjoy and distract.

  • Follow dietary instructions; avoid any overindulgence of chocolate or sugar.

Those in the moderate to late stages of Alzheimer’s & Dementia may be frightened and confused by costumes and Halloween decorations. It may also cause fear and undue anxiety from the ringing of doorbells, knocking on doors, loud noises, and movement outside their home. Whatever options you choose, creating a sense of calm and tranquillity that evening will help keep them safe and feeling secure.

Chicken Caesar Salad

As the colder months approach, we tend to lean into warmer, heavier, and heartier meals, but sometimes eating a light dish for one of your meals can help to regulate your body and keep it healthy. Try this easy and delicious salad for your next lunch or light supper!

Chicken Caesar Salad

Ingredients



  • 1 Chicken breast, skinless & boneless (or leftovers!), cooked

  • 1 cup of romaine or head lettuce

  • 1/4 cup croutons

  • 1 slice reduced-sodium bacon, cooked and chopped *optional

For the Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise

  • 2 tbsp shaved or grated parmesan cheese

  • 1 tsp milk

  • 1 tsp white vinegar

  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder

Directions

  1. Using leftover, ready-made rotisserie, or cooked/roasted chicken breast, slice the chicken thinly.

  2. Chop lettuce into 1/2 inch pieces and place in a medium-sized bowl. Add croutons and bacon.

  3. To make the dressing, add all ingredients in a small bowl and stir until smooth.

  4. Pour dressing over the lettuce mixture and toss.

  5. Spoon salad onto a serving plate or bowl and place cooked chicken on top. Sprinkle with additional parmesan and enjoy!

Health Benefits of Chocolate

Happy #NationalChocolateDay! Today, for those in the United States, is a day to honour this delicious treat, but in fact, World Chocolate Day was actually on July 7th! No matter what day you celebrate, chocolate is a favourite treat amount people of all ages, especially now during the Halloween season.

But, did you know some chocolates actually have health benefits? With everything, moderation is key and knowing your personal health history and any conditions should be taken into consideration when introducing chocolate to your diet.

Benefits of Chocolate

Not all chocolates are created equally. Dark chocolate, especially, due to its higher cocoa, have more health benefits (and less sugar!) than your standard and often favourite milk chocolate options.

Good-quality dark chocolate has a number of benefits. It contains healthy vitamins and minerals (including magnesium, iron, zinc and manganese). It is also an antioxidant-rich superfood, much like acai, pomegranate, cranberry and blueberry. As an antioxidant, it can neutralize free radicals and prevent oxidative stress. This type of stress often leads to the development of heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and eye disease.

 

Eating chocolate in moderation (some studies says 20 – 30g per day), also has the following benefits:

  • Decrease stress and inflammation

  • Protect against UV damage

  • Protect from disease-fighting free radicals

  • Potentially prevent cancer

  • Improve heart health

  • Improve blood pressure and blood sugar

  • Improve overall cholesterol profile

  • Improve cognitive function

 

 

 

Of course, depending on your lifestyle, current health conditions, or medical history, chocolate can be a great addition to your diet. However, due to its high calories, it may also pose risks such as increased sugar intake (if eaten too frequently) and possible weight gain. Always seek the advice of health care professionals and listen to your body when judging whether you’ve had too much.

 

Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca is a starch from the roots of the cassava plant, which is native to Brazil. It can take many forms, but the small pearls are what is used to make tapioca pudding.

Tapioca pudding is a classic dessert that takes only 30mins to make! It’s great comfort food that is often not seen or made nowadays as store-bought processed puddings become more convenient. However, if you or your elderly loved one is looking for a nostalgic treat to their day, try this delicious recipe!

Tapioca Pudding

Makes 5 cups 


Ingredients

  • 1 c. large pearl tapioca

  • 4 c milk

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 2 c milk

  • 1 1/2 c granulated sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/4 flour

  • 1 T sugar or 1/2 tsp cream of tartar 

Directions

  1. Soak tapioca in 2 cups of water overnight (if package instructions call for it).

  2. Put tapioca in a large pan with 2 cups of milk and 1/2 cups of sugar. Cook over medium heat until tapioca is clear (15 to 20 minutes). Stir often to avoid sticking.

  3. Separate eggs. Put yolks in a bowl.

  4. Beat egg yolks. Add 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Stir in 2 cups milk. Add to first tapioca mixture. Cook until thick.

  5. Add 1 T sugar or 1/2 tsp cream of tartar to egg whites and beat until stiff peaks form.

  6. When tapioca is thick, pour hot tapioca mixture into beaten egg whites.

  7. Add vanilla and fold egg whites into pudding.

  8. Serve it hot or cold, with a side of fresh fruit or on its own!

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998.

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

Apple Stamping

A great way to add creativity to your elderly loved one’s life is to use simple, household items that can surprise and delight them when used in a new and exciting way! A perfect example of this is by using a simple apple as a stamp to create these adorable painted “pumpkins”.


What you need

  • An apple; cut down the center

  • Orange paint

  • Brown and Green pipe cleaners or paper

  • Craft glue

  • Googly eyes and/or other embellishments (such as sequins, buttons, stickers, etc)

  • White craft paper or paper bags to decorate

Directions


  1. Begin by cutting your apple in half, vertically through the stem/core.

  2. Using a paintbrush, dab some orange paint on one half of your apple.

  3. Carefully press down the apple onto the paper.  You may place a variety of them in different areas around the paper or surface.

  4. Touch up any unpainted parts with your brush. Let dry.

  5. While your pumpkins are drying, cut your brown pipe cleaners into small stem sizes and twist your green pipe cleaners around a pencil to create a curly leaf. You may also use craft paper to create the same effects.

  6. Glue them to the tops of your pumpkin designs. Let dry.

  7. Using glue, attach the googly eyes or other embellishments to your fun pumpkins!

Crafty Halloween Characters

Ever wonder what to do with those empty paper rolls? Well, why not make some fun and spooky Halloween characters?! In today’s blog, we show you how easy crafting can be for you and your loved ones this Halloween!

Materials

  • Empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls

  • Craft paint in Halloween colours (i.e. black, orange, white, yellow)

  • Paintbrushes

  • Accessories, such as pipe cleaners, craft paper, googly eyes, string, etc.

  • Craft glue

  • Markers or pencil crayons

Instructions

  1. Using craft paint and brushes, paint the paper roll all around the outside. Set aside and let dry. This can be done ahead of time, depending on the comfort level and ability of those in your care.
  2. Using craft paper, markers, and accessories, begin to cut, glue, and design your Halloween character! You can use the examples in our photos to help you decide what to make.
  3. Let dry and display on a table…preferably near those yummy Halloween treats!

 

Sock Crafts


Ever wonder what to do with old worn out socks, mismatched pairs, and those elusive single socks that made it through the dryer cycle without their partner? Why not try making pumpkins, cats, or snowmen out of them!

Using simple household materials, a few craft items, some glue, and a little creativity, you can make these adorable decorations for any occasion! try it with your loved ones today!

Materials

  • Socks of any kind, colour, and length

  • Rice (raw) or cotton batting (used for stuffing socks)

  • Rubber bands or string/ribbon

  • Hot glue gun or strong adhesive craft glue

  • Craft accessories, such as felt, buttons, sequins, fabric, foam cut-outs, etc. 


 

Instructions

  1. Use small socks for smaller shapes like a cat or a pumpkin, or long socks for a tall snowman, caterpillar or bunny.

  2. Using the sock, fill it with rice or cotton batting to an amount that works best for your shape. Ensure that the sock is filled so that it doesn’t sag or wrinkle.

  3. Tie the end with a rubber band or ribbon, making sure it is cinched tight so that the stuffing material doesn’t fall out. Cinch in multiple locations depending on your shape. If you have any excess sock material, you may either flip it over the stuffed area and cinch again, or simply cut off the excess and use for decorative accessories like a hat, a bow tie, etc.

  4. Make sure your shape can stand on its own. This may require a bit of shifting of rice grains or cotton batten.

  5. Using the accessories you have gathered, begin to decorate the shape. Perhaps use buttons for eyes, foam cut-outs for feet or mouth, or design you own using felt. Glue pieces using a hot glue gun or strong adhesive craft glue.

**Be careful when using the hot glue gun, as it can burn skin. Make sure to unplug it and let it cool after use**

Place your new decorative piece on a table, shelf, nightstand or any visible location for you and your loved ones to enjoy!