Ideal Caregivers 4u



Month: November 2020

Advent Calendar

Yesterday, Sunday, November 29th, was the first day of Advent, celebrated by those of the Catholic faith. The first day of Advent is the first day of a new Liturgical (or church) calendar and begins the four week period of preparation in anticipation of the birth of Jesus at Christmas. The Advent Season is all about reflecting on how we can prepare our hearts and homes for Christ’s birth.

A tradition during Advent is to have an Advent calendar to count the days until Christmas. Often, these calendars are sold in stores offering chocolate treats or small gifts and trinkets for those who celebrate.

We thought it would be fun to create our own Advent calendar, using household materials, a little creativity, and some treats!


  • A cardboard box or flat cardboard the size of a large shoebox

  • Paper towel, or other cardboard rolls

  • A hot glue gun or craft glue

  • Markers or paint

  • Craft paper or printer paper, variety of colours

  • Scissors & pencil

  • 24 individually wrapped treats, small toys or trinkets

  • *Optional: string/rope, garland, pine tree branches, etc. 



  1. Cut the length of the paper towel rolls into 24 equally sized pieces.

  2. Using the craft paper, trace one end of a cardboard roll, making it just larger than the roll itself. Trace and cut a total of 24. These will be the “doors” to open each advent date and will sit on top of each roll. Set aside.

  3. Using the flat cardboard or box as the base, glue (at the rim) each cardboard roll onto the base. Each roll should be next to one another in a logical arrangement (for example, 6 rows of 4 rolls, etc.). Let dry.

  4. Meanwhile, on each of the 24 paper discs that have been cut out, write or paint numbers 1 – 24 on each.

  5. Now for the fun part! Place a treat or small gift in each of the rolls.

  6. Cover each roll with a numbered disc and either glue or tape gently. Do not secure fully, as each will have to be removed to reveal the gift inside each day.

  7. Place the Advent calendar on a table or Christmas display area.

  8. **Optional – Using any remaining cardboard, string/rope, garland or branches, secure to the top of the Advent calendar if you wish to hang it on a wall.

Each day leading to Christmas, have your loved one reveal a small treat or gift from the Advent calendar and count down to the special day!

Fun Facts: Black Friday

As the day after American Thanksgiving is here, consumers head out to their favourite stores (some sleeping overnight in storefronts!) to catch the best deals for the holiday season!

Here are some fun facts you may not have known about this annual event.

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998.

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

Back Care

Taking care of your back, especially if you are a caregiver for others, is vital to your mobility, health, and daily functioning.

As we move about our day, we often rush to a task, lift objects that are heavier than expected, and/or sit for longer periods of time at our desk, forgetting to take breaks, stretch our muscles, and bend with our knees.

Here are some reminders on how to care for your back while seated, standing for long periods of time, tending to others (lifting or transferring), and your general health. 

Quinoa Bowl

Hearty root vegetables & greens, protein-packed quinoa and chickpeas, and tangy tahini dressing all come together for this delicious meal idea!

Quinoa Bowl

Makes 1 to 2 servings


  • 1 cup Kale, rinsed and chopped

  • 1 Sweet red pepper, diced

  • 1/2 cup Chickpeas (canned), rinsed and drained

  • 1 Sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 cup Cooked Quinoa

For Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp Tahini sauce

  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

  • Pinch of salt, or to taste

  • Dash of curry powder

  • 1/4 tsp Maple syrup

  • 1 – 2 tbsp of Water


  1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees. Prepare your vegetables and other ingredients.

  2. In a bowl, place sweet potato and toss with salt, black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Then place on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Roast in the oven for approx 30 min or until tender. Remove from oven and let cool.

  3. Place quinoa, chickpeas, kale, red pepper, and sweet potatoes into a large bowl or deep-dish plate. Some prefer to keep ingredients separate, but you can also toss them together.

  4. Prepare the dressing by mixing all of the ingredients into a bowl. Add the water one tablespoon at a time to create the right consistency. The dressing should not be too thick but rather pours easily onto your quinoa bowl.

  5. Pour dressing onto your quinoa bowl and enjoy!

Flossing Tips for Seniors

Flossing and all oral/mouth care are vital to the health and wellbeing of older adults and seniors. This process removes food and bacteria from between teeth, helping to prevent infections, tooth decay, and gum disease. Many seniors, however, stop flossing as they age thinking it is no longer important or having difficulty performing the task due to physical limitations with age.

Why should we floss?

Flossing is a very important part of keeping your mouth healthy no matter your age, but it can be a challenge for older adults. While the spaces between your teeth are more difficult to reach, this means food and bacteria can collect and cause gum irritation, swelling, and even bad breath. Continuous swelling can cause gum and bone loss, and create larger spaces for food to collect.

What is the proper technique for flossing?

  • Wrap about 18 inches of floss around your two middle fingers.
  • Tightly hold the dental floss with your thumbs and pointer finger and gently insert it between the teeth.
  • Position the dental floss around the side of the tooth in a ‘C’ shape.
  • Move the floss up and down against the sides of each tooth.
  • Repeat on the next tooth with a fresh section of the floss until each tooth has been cleaned.
  • Flossing should be done once each day, either before or after brushing.

What do I do if flossing is difficult for me?

If you’re older or have a disability that makes it difficult to floss, there are a number of flossing alternatives you can consider. These include:

  • Interdental brushes that can fit between teeth.
  • Floss picks with handles that can make it easier to floss with just one hand.
  • Water flossers that direct water between the teeth in lieu of dental floss.
  • Floss threaders can be helpful for flossing under fixed bridges.
  • Interdental Brushes – also called proxy brushes, an interdental brush is a small pointed brush attached to a handle that may allow you to clean between teeth when there is enough space. Using one is as easy as inserting the brush tip between the teeth.

If you or your elderly loved one require assistance with personal and oral hygiene, consider home care services. Visit our website today to see how we can help!

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998.

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

Stuffed Butternut Squash

A great way to celebrate seasonal vegetables is with this delicious stuffed butternut squash recipe (originally found here). High in protein and nutrients with the addition of chickpeas, quinoa, and packed full of flavour, it is sure to please around any dinner table!

Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash


  • 2 medium butternut squash about 2 1/2 pounds each
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil divided
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1 bunch kale stems removed and chopped (about 6 lightly packed cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional for roasting squash
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper plus additional for roasting squash
  • 1 can low sodium chickpeas (15 ounces), rinsed and drained
  • Zest of 1 orange plus 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sugar dried cranberries
  • Grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled feta cheese, optional


  1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Halve the butternut squash, scoop out the seeds, then arrange the halves on a baking tray, cut sides up. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake 45-55 minutes, just until the squash is fork-tender. Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
  2. While the squash is baking, place the broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa, return to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 12 minutes, until most of the broth is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork then set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon olive over medium. Add the kale and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook 30 additional seconds, until is fragrant. Stir in the chickpeas, orange zest, orange juice, cooked quinoa, and cranberries.
  4. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick border around the sides and a 3/4-inch border along the bottom. Reserve the flesh for another use (or if you don’t mind a super duper stuffed squash, mix it in with the rest of the filling). Stuff the kale quinoa filling into the squash halves, then return the squash to the oven. Bake at 375 degrees until hot, about 10 additional minutes. Sprinkle with cheese.

For meal assistance in making this or other healthy recipes for your elderly loved ones, visit our website here to find out how we can help!

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998.

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

The Power of Pets

We have all heard the old adage “dogs are man’s best friend”, but little did we know just how true that phrase is!

As we age, our circle of friends and family starts to get smaller and smaller and the onset of loneliness becomes a concern. Having feelings of loneliness or being alone for long periods of time is evident as our mobility diminishes making our capacity to socialize increasingly more challenging. Home Health Care services, such as Ideal Caregivers 4u, provide human companionship and caregiving for the elderly to ensure their physical, emotional, and mental health and well-being are cared for.

However, some seniors may require just a little bit more and when it comes to the benefits of companionship, pets can be quite powerful! Pets provide a meaningful, purposeful living for seniors that enhance their physical and mental wellness.

Benefits of Pet Ownership for Seniors

  1. Companionship – having a pet in the home reduces the feelings of isolation. Dogs and cats, in particular, adapt their personalities to those of their keepers. They are intuitive and can sense their mood and offer affection and comfort when you feel sad or anxious.

  2. Routine – whether it’s feeding, grooming, or physical activity, having a pet provides a much-needed routine. Having a routine improves cognitive function and memory and provides a sense of purpose.

  3. Physical Activity – while a person’s mobility decreases as they age, taking your beloved dog for his daily walk or playing fetch can improve their physical functioning for daily living and even lower the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.

What to consider when choosing a pet 

Pet ownership should always be carefully considered and not entered into on a whim. Here are some items to consider when thinking about getting a pet for you or your elderly loved one.

  • Are they set in their ways? For those who already have a routine or like things done a “certain way”, having a pet may be more of a challenge when adapting to the needs of the animal. They must be open to change.

  • Have they had a pet before? Prior pet ownership isn’t a requirement, but it does help when opening your home to a new pet. Clear guidelines and an understanding of what is required to feed, groom, and care for the animal is necessary.

  • What is the age of the animal? For some with an active lifestyle, they may benefit from having a younger pet who can keep up with their activity level and stamina, especially for those daily dog walks. For people with mobility concerns, having an older animal will benefit them, as the pace is slower and they can be less of a physical challenge when caring for them.

Whether a dog, a cat, a bird, or a guinea pig, the healing powers of pets can greatly benefit anyone at any age. Take the time to research what type of pet you are willing to open your home to, what financial costs will it entail (food, vet bills, etc.), and what you can do to make your home more pet-friendly.

Pineapple Pork

Finding quick and easy meals for you and your family allows you to spend more time doing activities you love and less time standing in front of a hot stove. This delicious and easy Hawaiian-inspired dish is sure to add a bit of sweetness and savoury to your next meal!



  • 1 can (8 ounces) pineapple chunks (reserve pineapple juice)

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup cold water, divided

  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced

  • 1 pork tenderloin (1 pound), cut into thin strips

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

  • 2 cups vegetables of your choice (red peppers, broccoli, carrots, etc.)

  • 1/2 small onion, chopped

  • Hot rice noodles or cooked rice


  1. Drain pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup juice; set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 tablespoon water, garlic and 1 tablespoon reserved pineapple juice. Pour into a shallow dish; add pork and turn to coat.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, honey and remaining water, cornstarch and reserved pineapple juice until smooth; set aside.

  4. In a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, stir-fry pork in 1 tablespoon oil until no longer pink; remove and keep warm.

  5. Stir-fry the vegetables in remaining oil until tender. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to the pan.

  6. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add pork and pineapple; heat through.

  7. Serve on top of noodles or rice.

Managing Medications

Seniors tend to have more medical conditions than any other age group, and as a result, take more prescription medications. A study of nearly 14,000 people found that 25 percent of those between 65 and 69 take at least five prescription drugs, and that number increases to 46 percent among those aged 70 to 79. The more medications you take, the harder it is to manage.

Medical management is an area where minor errors can have catastrophic consequences. There can be problems from overdosing, underdosing, not taking medicines at the right time, or forgetting to take them altogether. Nevertheless, not all problems are caused by taking medications incorrectly.

The effects of certain drugs on seniors can be disproportionate. Sometimes, a combination of medicines – often prescribed by different doctors for different conditions – can have adverse side effects. To manage your medications effectively, you need to develop procedures to help you take them consistently each day.

Here are some tips on managing multiple prescription medicines safely.

  1. Bring a list of your prescription medicines with you to each doctor’s appointment so that they can discuss them with you. Ensure a loved one has a copy of the list in case of an emergency, and update it as needed.

  2. If you see multiple doctors, use one pharmacy. As well as simplifying your life, it allows your pharmacist to check for harmful interactions between medications.

  3. Look for a pillbox that suits your needs. They come in different sizes to accommodate different dosage needs. You can purchase pill dispensers that flashlight or sound an alarm when it’s time to take a dose if you or a loved one forgets to take your medications.

  4. Consider a prescription drug delivery service. For example, PillPack is an online pharmacy that sorts your medications by date and time, enclosing each dose in a small plastic packet. In this way, you pull out the next packet and take the pills at the time printed on the label.

  5. Get a “brown-bag” review at your annual physical. Your doctor will be able to review all your prescriptions and supplements and will be able to answer any questions you may have about them.


If you forget to take your medication at the proper times, there are some things you can do to help you remember. Besides getting a pill organizer with an alarm, you can set multiple alarms using your smartphone or watch throughout the day. Or, you can use sticky notes throughout your home to remind you. You can place one near your coffee maker as a reminder to take your morning medicines and another by your nightstand as a reminder to take your evening medications.

There are many reasons why people don’t take their medication correctly and if you have any other ideas that could be helpful leave a comment below!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Servicing the Ottawa Community since 1998.