You Have A Social Routine -Let the Caregiver Help!

Age-related changes may make life a little more challenging, but it doesn’t have to take your social life!

A caregiver can help you stay on top of your social game – or golf game – by taking on some of the grunt work.

Here’s an example of what a social senior’s week might look like and how a caregiver can help.

  • Monday – Attending the tennis and golf club; caregiver drives and carries your equipment
  • Tuesday – Hosting a bridge game at your home; caregiver prepares and serves the food and drinks
  • Wednesday – Having birthday lunch with a friend; caregiver picks up a card and gift and drives you to and from the restaurant
  • Thursday – The grandkids are coming to visit; caregiver prepares and serves snacks and tidies up when they leave
  • Friday – Going on a nature walk with the walking group; caregiver prepares a healthy breakfast before you go, packs snacks for you to take on your walk, and drives you to the meeting point and back
  • Saturday – Attending a wedding; caregiver takes you shopping for a gift, picks up your suit/dress from the dry cleaner, and drives you to the wedding and back
  • Sunday – A day of rest and catching up with old friends by phone and mail; caregiver tidies the house, helps you arrange the coming week’s activities, and assists with correspondence

The Health Benefits of Being Social

Maintaining a strong social network as we age has been shown to have numerous benefits for our physical and mental wellbeing.

These benefits include:

  • happiness and greater positive moods
  • increased energy
  • higher levels of physical activity
  • improved immune and cognitive function
  • lower risk of depression, anxiety, and loneliness
  • lower blood pressure
  • lower risk of diseases, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and some cancers
  • a longer lifespan

Don’t let age-related changes slow you down and keep you from spending time doing what you love or enjoying the company of others. Consider a enlisting the help of caregiver – who are great company, too – to help you maintain your social calendar.

We’re here for you 24/7, 365 days of the year. Give us a call at 1.855.483.CARE (2273) or send us an email to

Article resources

  • Broader social interaction keeps older adults more active. Harvard Health.
  • Social participation and the health and well-being of Canadian seniors. Gilmour H.

The Throne Speech Has Got People Talking About the Future of Home Care

The pandemic has been difficult – to say the least – and especially so for seniors. The one good thing that has come from the COVID-19 crisis is that it has opened the conversation about aging in place.

More and more adults nearing retirement are reconsidering where and how they want to live and looking to home care to help them stay at home for as long as possible.

The conversation is also happening within our Government who are now shifting the focus to home as the first solution for keeping seniors safe and healthy.

Most Canadians prefer to age in place

Our oldest baby boomers are turning 75 this year and the number of Canadians aged 85+ will more than triple in the next three decades. Aging in place is no longer just what the majority of Canadians want – it’s necessary due to the number of people who will require long-term care in the coming years.

How the Canadian Government is making home care a priority

The Speech from the Throne highlighted the importance of improving senior care and announced that the Government will be taking action to support seniors and help people stay in their homes longer.

To help seniors stay safe at home, the Throne Speech said that Government is committed to:

  • Increasing Old Age Security once a senior turns 75
  • Boosting the CPP survivor’s benefit
  • Looking at targeted measures for PSWs who provide an essential service and invaluable contributions to our society in helping to care for older adults

While the plan was somewhat vague, increasing benefits for seniors will certainly make in-home care even more affordable for seniors and their families.

Making the case for aging in place

Given the current climate, a significantly lower risk of contracting COVID-19 or any other contagious illness is the most obvious benefit to home care over a long-term care family or retirement community.

Other benefits to aging in place and in-home care have been identified, however, including:

  • Personalized care. In-home care services can be catered to your unique needs with one-on-one care provided by a skilled and experienced caregiver.
  • Fewer hospitalizations. Research shows that home care reduces hospitals stays and improves health outcomes. For seniors who are hospitalized, home care during recovery results in faster healing.
  • Reduced stress for seniors and their families. In-home care services can help care recipients and their families avoid stressors. The care recipient is able to maintain their routines and remain in the comfort and familiarity of home and avoid change, which can be stressful, especially for those living with dementia and other health conditions. For families, a professional caregiver provides peace of mind and assurance that your loved one is receiving the care they need. It also provides family caregivers with a break from caregiving responsibilities, reducing stress and the risk of caregiver burnout.
  • Improved socialization and lower risk of loneliness. Isolation and loneliness have serious implications for health, especially in older adults. Aging in place makes it easier for seniors to continue with their social activities and caregiver can help you continue to get out by providing transportation and escorting you. That said, isolation in the home setting is still possible. Caregivers are able to provide companionship and can identify signs of loneliness and isolation, should it occur.
  • Improved quality of life and lifespan. According to reports, older adults who receive home care are more satisfied with their quality of life and have been shown to live longer. This isn’t all that surprising given that reduced stress, access to better care, and lower risk of isolation and loneliness have all been proven to benefit a person’s overall health.


Article sources

  • 2020 Speech from the Throne. Government of Canada.
  • Effectiveness of home based support for older people: systematic review and meta-analysis. Elkan R, Kendrick D, Dewey M, et al.

Long Term Care Homes Are Not Ready For a Second Wave of Covid-19

How we can help you stay safe at home

Ontario’s long-term care sector announced that it’s not equipped to handle a second wave of Covid-19.

This news comes as case counts are already starting to climb in the province and flu season is approaching.

More than 1,800 long-term care residents have died since the start of the pandemic. With facilities not prepared to handle the expected increase in cases, the death toll is expected to keep rising.

Top health officials warned months ago that long-term care homes lacked the basic resources needed to combat an outbreak of the virus that is especially dangerous for older adults.

Staffing shortages and infection prevention and control deficiencies have yet to be rectified, increasing the likelihood or more outbreaks in homes and subsequently, more resident deaths.

More Seniors are Staying Safe at Home

There is an increasing interest for in-home care solutions that allow our clients to stay safe at home while getting the assistance they need. In most cases, this can eliminate the need to move to a long-term care facility.

These services, like the ones offered to Living Assistance clients, range from help with non-medical needs to daily living tasks like grocery shopping and errands. Seniors in need can stay physically distanced and avoid exposure to others.

For families who are caring for an elderly parent or grandparent at home, a caregiver can help limit the number of family and friends coming into the home by taking on some or all of the caregiving duties. This can help protect everyone in the household!

Speaking of protecting the household, here are some other ways that a skilled caregiver can help reduce the risk of infection:

  • By helping to maintain a clean and sanitary environment.
  • Assisting with proper personal hygiene.
  • Ensuring proper nutrition through healthy meal planning and preparation, which boosts the immune system.
  • Picking up prescriptions to help you stay on top of your health.
  • Providing RN-supervised care for to manage other existing conditions.
  • Our caregivers also provide companionship, which has been shown to help boost immunity and mental health, and lower the risk of illness in seniors.

In-home care provides the personalized one-on-one care that isn’t possible in long-term care homes, many of which are understaffed.

To learn more about the services we provide, give us a call at 1.855.483.2273. We’re here for you.

Article sources

  • Ontario long-term care homes warn they are not equipped to handle second COVID-19 wave. Robyn Doolittle. Globe and Mail.
  • Ontario not acting on calls to improve infection control in long-term care facilities as COVID-19 second wave looms. Robyn Doolittle. Globe and Mail.

Why do Retirement Community Residents Hire Caregivers?

Living in a retirement community certainly has its perks. You no longer have to deal with the hassles and costs of gardening and other home maintenance, and all the amenities you need are on site or easy to access.

As wonderful as this way of life is, like many other retirement community residents, you may find that you still need a bit of extra help.

Hiring a caregiver when living in a retirement community

Hiring a caregiver through an in-home care agency is a cost-effective way to get help with the things you need. The array of services a caregiver can perform can be tailored to suit your specific needs, even if you’re independent and only need a little bit of help.

Surprised? You’re not alone. It’s a common misconception that in-home care is for people who are unable to care for themselves or require round-the-clock assistance. That’s not the case!

As a matter of fact, many people who enlist the help of a caregiver do it to ensure their ability to live independently. Helping you live independently for as long as possible is precisely the point of in-home care and our primary goal.

A caregiver can help you with tasks like:

  • grocery shopping
  • pharmacy pick-ups
  • a variety of other errands

They can also drive you to appointments and social engagements outside of your community if you don’t drive or just don’t feel like driving. (Hello Canadian winters!)

Your caregiver can also take on some of the chores that you find difficult or just plain don’t enjoy, such as:

  • laundry and ironing
  • meal prep
  • help with unpacking if you’ve just moved in
  • walking or cleaning up after your pet

As you can see, a caregiver can take on as much or as little as you need help with so that you can really enjoy all that retirement community living has to offer.

We can help with your loved one’s care at home or in a retirement home.

Call us at 1.855.483.CARE (2273) or send us an email to

Driving and Meds Don’t Mix

According to CAMH, adults in Canada aged 65 and older consume 20 to 40 percent of all prescription meds and 25 percent of all over-the-counter meds. As we age, we’re also more likely to take more than one medication at a time. While medications help you manage your illnesses and symptoms, many cause side effects that impair your ability to drive.

Common Medications That Restrict Your Ability to Drive

Medications can cause a whole slew of side effects that can make it impossible for a person to drive safely, including:

  • drowsiness/sleepiness
  • unsteadiness
  • blurred vision
  • dizziness
  • slowed movement and reaction
  • trouble focusing or concentrating
  • fainting

As we get older, many of these effects can be even more pronounced because ageing affects the rate of at which our bodies absorb drugs. If you take more than one type of medication, the possibility of drug interactions is higher and can result in enhanced effects of one or more of the drugs.

Medications known to impair driving include:

  • narcotic pain relievers
  • anxiety medications
  • some antidepressants
  • anti-epileptic drugs (anti-seizure drugs)
  • sleep aids
  • products containing codeine
  • antihistamines
  • cough and cold medicine
  • muscle relaxants
  • medicines used to treat nausea

Getting Around Safely

Driving and meds don’t mix, but that doesn’t mean you need to give up your car and fuss with taxis or be at the mercy of public transit schedules. You can hire a caregiver to drive your car wherever you need to go.

By hiring an in-home caregiver to drive you, you not only get reliable transportation, but also have the added benefit of having help with errands such as shopping, someone to accompany you to appointments, and more.

A caregiver can help you or your ageing parent maintain independence, making it possible to go anywhere. This as well as other in-home care services, if needed.

To learn more about hiring a caregiver to drive you where you need to go or about any of our other in-home care services, reach us anytime at 1.855.483.CARE (2273).

Article sources

  • Medications and Driving. Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).
  • Medication Use in Older Adults. CAMH.

A Day in the Life of A PSW

PSWs have always been heroes in our books. They dedicate their lives to caring for older adults, who are among the most vulnerable in our community.

Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis and even more so since the shortcomings in Canada’s long-term care facilities were brought to light, more and more people are finally appreciating these unsung heroes. Still, it’s important for us to provide a true picture of just how difficult this job is.

To do this, we would like to introduce you to Marie and take you through a day in her life as a PSW.

Marie’s day starts at 5:00 AM. This gives her less than an hour to get ready for work and kiss her sleeping children goodbye so she can catch the 6:00 AM bus to the subway in order to make it to her client’s home at 6:45  to begin her 12-hour shift at 7:00 AM.

Unlike corporate employees who stop at Starbucks for a latte, Marie can never be late, so waiting in line for coffee is out of the question. Her client is bedridden and not only relies on Marie’s help with bathing, feeding, her morning medication and breakfast, but also her company. For a few years now, Marie is often the only face that the client sees anymore.

Taking care of a person who is bedridden is physically demanding. As with other bedridden adults, this client is overweight, which makes it especially difficult to lift them.

Marie begins her shift by talking to the client and asking how her night was and listens intently as she begins gathering the supplies, she will need to get the client bathed.

She helps the client sit up in bed using pillows to prop her up, before helping her brush her teeth and hair, all while continuing to engage her.

Next she undresses her client to bathe her and has to lift and balance the client while she washes her and changes her incontinence pad and bedding. It’s difficult, but not doing these things properly can lead to bed sores and infection, so she takes her time and is thorough.

Once the client is dressed in a fresh gown; Marie props her up and turns on her favorite TV program before moving onto the next important task, which is feeding and walking the client’s beloved dog, Jo-Jo.

Jo-Jo takes his place next to his owner while Marie helps her eat breakfast.

Over the course of the day, Marie will prepare two more meals for her client…and Jo-Jo. She decides to take her own lunch in the room with her client. Normally Marie eats her lunch while writing out the grocery list or sorting through junk mail, but the client seems a little down and like she could use some cheering up.

Some more friendly conversation over a sandwich does the trick and her client is in much better spirits by time her quick lunch break is over.

Throughout the rest of the day, Marie does laundry, washes dishes, and vacuums and dusts the dog hair that settles throughout the house. She also picks up and puts away groceries, and takes care of her client’s toileting several more times.

Before heading home, Marie goes through the entire hygiene process again, ensuring that her client is clean, dry, and comfortable for the night, and gives the client her final dose of her medication.

By the time she takes Jo-Jo out for his final potty break, it’s already 7:15 PM and just past the end of her shift.

She pops into the client’s room one more time to make sure she has a glass of water and the remote control within reach, and anything else she needs for the night.

Marie finally heads home, tired but happy knowing that her client was feeling more joyful than at the start of her day.

By the time she walks in the door it’s already 9:00 PM and her children are already asleep. She ends her day the way she started it and sneaks into her children’s rooms for a quick goodnight kiss.

She will start this over again the next morning.

Sleep tips: 6 steps to better sleep

You’re not doomed to toss and turn every night. Consider simple tips for better sleep, from setting a sleep schedule to including physical activity in your daily routine.

Think about all the factors that can interfere with a good night’s sleep — from work stress and family responsibilities to unexpected challenges, such as illnesses. It’s no wonder that quality sleep is sometimes elusive.

While you might not be able to control the factors that interfere with your sleep, you can adopt habits that encourage better sleep. Start with these simple tips.

  • Stick to a sleep schedule

Set aside no more than eight hours for sleep. The recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is at least seven hours. Most people don’t need more than eight hours in bed to achieve this goal.

Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try to limit the difference in your sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends to no more than one hour. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle.

If you don’t fall asleep within about 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and do something relaxing. Read or listen to soothing music. Go back to bed when you’re tired. Repeat as needed.

  • Pay attention to what you eat and drink

Don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed. In particular, avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime. Your discomfort might keep you up.

Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol deserve caution, too. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.

  • Create a restful environment

Create a room that’s ideal for sleeping. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet. Exposure to light might make it more challenging to fall asleep. Avoid prolonged use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime. Consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.

Doing calming activities before bedtime, such as taking a bath or using relaxation techniques, might promote better sleep.

  • Limit daytime naps

Long daytime naps can interfere with nighttime sleep. If you choose to nap, limit yourself to up to 30 minutes and avoid doing so late in the day.

If you work nights, however, you might need to nap late in the day before work to help make up your sleep debt.

  • Include physical activity in your daily routine

Regular physical activity can promote better sleep. Avoid being active too close to bedtime, however.

Spending time outside every day might be helpful, too.

  • Manage worries

Try to resolve your worries or concerns before bedtime. Jot down what’s on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.

Stress management might help. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Meditation also can ease anxiety.

  • Know when to contact your doctor

Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night — but if you often have trouble sleeping, contact your doctor. Identifying and treating any underlying causes can help you get the better sleep you deserve.


Source: Mayo Clinic

The Border Is Closed, But You Can Still Travel…

Toronto has plenty of things for you to do

The border may be closed but there’s no shortage of interesting things to do when accessing a world class city like Toronto is easy.  And after months of being cooped up inside because of the pandemic, many older adults are ready to fly the coop and get out for some fun now that restrictions are easing. Still, the idea of venturing out can be a little – okay, a lot – daunting if you have trouble getting around on your own or have concerns about staying safe. This is where a companion caregiver can help.

For 4 to 8 hours every week, you can travel to Toronto and enjoy the attractions with your companion caregiver. A caregiver is the perfect travel partner. Not only do you get to enjoy the friendly company, but they also make it easier to get around while ensuring that physical distancing and other precautions are taken so you can focus on enjoying the outing.

Day Trip Ideas in Toronto for Seniors and their Caregivers

There’s so much to do in Toronto and we’ve rounded up some exciting and accessible options that are fun for all.

Toronto Waterfront

Toronto’s 46-kilometer shoreline is packed with exciting things to see and enjoy, from parks and beaches to art galleries and the Harbourfront Center.

Day-tripping the city’s shoreline offers up something for everyone and wide sidewalks and open spaces make it accessible to most and easy to physical distance.

Meander along the shoreline and stop at one of the many parks or patios and take in the beauty of the water, tall ships, and the skyline while you lunch. Beautiful Toronto Island is also just a ferry ride away! The ferries are all wheelchair accessible and the island almost completely barrier-free so getting around is a breeze.

High Park

High Park is Toronto’s largest public park and chock full of beauty and fun! It’s also one of the most popular Toronto day trip destinations for seniors and all other ages for that matter.  It’s easy to access by car or public transportation and once there you can find enough to keep you busy for the entire day.

The park features wild forests and Chinese gardens, a mini zoo, and Grenadier Pond – the perfect spot for picnicking and watching the ducks and geese. If a picnic isn’t your thing, Grenadier Café is open for breakfast and lunch on the patio so you can dine surrounded by nature.

Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo is fun for kids and those who are kids at heart!

The zoo spans over 710 acres with more than 10 KM of walking trails to let you see it all. To make it easier, the zoo has several accessible features like wheelchair accessible parking and pavilions, ramps rather than stairs, and free wheelchairs. Just keep in mind that tickets must be pre-booked for now due to Covid-19 occupancy restrictions.

Toronto Botanical Garden

The Toronto Botanical Garden is a nature lover’s paradise with award-winning and themed gardens that span close to four acres and feature over 4,500 plants, the Willet Creek Ravine, and numerous bird species.

When you’re ready for a break, the Garden Shop and Garden Café are open to visitors with physical distancing and other safety measures in place.

The Access 2 Card Program

Enjoying arts and entertainment with a caregiver is a lot more cost effective for those with an Access 2 card.

The Access 2 card program was launched by Easter Seals Canada in 2004 to make entertainment, cultural, and recreational opportunities available and accessible to all. It can be used at hundreds of venues across Canada, including many of Toronto’s attractions, including the Toronto Zoo, Harbourfront Center, and more.

The card is for people with all types of permanent disabilities who require the assistance of a support person.

A support person, such as a caregiver, is an adult who accompanies someone with a permanent disability to assist with services not provided by the venue. This includes assistance with eating, medication administering, use of the facilities, and more.

Access 2 cardholders receive free or discounted admission for their support person. The card costs $20 for 3 years or $30 for 5 years and is valid at all participating venues during that time.

This side of the border is full of wonderful places and experiences that can be enjoyed year round, so take your caregiver’s hand start exploring!

Article sources:

  • Access 2 Card.
  • Harbourfront Centre.
  • High Park Toronto.
  • Toronto Botanical Garden.
  • Toronto Island.

The Many Benefits Enjoyed by Caregivers and Care Recipients

Every day I get to witness firsthand just how much our caregivers love what they do. It’s not an easy job by any stretch, but they wouldn’t give up their clients for anything.

A recent home renovation show reminded me again of not only of how special clients are to professional caregivers, but also just how special caregivers become to the person receiving care and their families.

In the show, singer Michael Bublé honored his late grandfather Demetrio’s final wish by renovating and gifting his former house to the caregiver, Minette, who had cared for him in his final years.

Throughout the episode, both Bublé and Minette talked about the special bond that developed between his grandfather and his caregiver.

It was heartwarming to hear how the grandfather – who’d been reluctant to receive in-home care and fought it tooth and nail – eventually grew to love his caregiver and how they became part of each other’s families.

While being gifted a house isn’t all that common, the special relationships between caregivers and care recipients is.

How everyone benefits of in-home care

Caregivers enjoy numerous benefits from taking care of others and it turns out that the person receiving care reaps many of those same benefits.

Here are just some of the benefits of being a professional caregiver that care recipients and their families also enjoy:

  • Flexibility – Caregivers enjoy flexibility so that they’re able to work while also raising children, taking care of family, and often attending school (usually nursing). By hiring an in-home care provider, the spouses or children of the care recipient are also able to better juggle their other responsibilities while ensuring their loved one is cared for.
  • Close relationships – Caregivers work closely with their clients, usually on a daily basis, often for years. During this time, they form close connections with the care recipient and their family members and these deep connections have benefits for all involved. The physical and mental health benefits of deep connections and friendships are well documented and include everything from lower stress and anxiety to improved immunity, and even a longer life! There’s also evidence that Alzheimer’s patients who share close relationships with their caregivers experience a slower decline in brain function, similar to the benefits achieved from some drugs used to treat the disease.
  • Better care – Great in-home care is made even better as the caregiver gets to know the care recipient and their family. This strong connection gives the caregiver a better understanding of the client and their needs so that they’re able to provide the best possible care. Everyone benefits from this! In turn, family members can pick up tips along the way that improve their skills when helping care for their loved one.
  • Giving back to society – Caregivers give back in so many ways. By doing what they do, clients are able to age in place safely and happily. Caregivers are also a godsend for the client’s family who are able to recharge and look after themselves while knowing their parent/grandparent is looked after. But the person providing the care isn’t the only one who’s giving back – people who hire a caregiver are also doing something wonderful! By hiring a great worker you’re helping her/him support their family. In turn, the caregiver is able to earn a good living and provide for their family, while also working with someone they respect and admire.

The Right Caregiver

The caregiver and care recipient bond is a special one that provides endless benefits for all involved. For this reason, we encourage our clients to choose their caregiver for the best possible fit.

If you’re considering in-home care for your aging loved one or yourself, give us a call to learn more. Excellent care, trust, and lasting connections are just a phone call away.


Article sources

  • Close Caregiver Relationship May Slow Alzheimer’s Decline. (2020). John’s Hopkins Medicine.
  • Connect To Thrive. (2012). Seppälä E.

Care on the Move

How a caregiver can arrange mobile services so seniors can stay in

In-home care services have been a godsend for seniors isolating due to the pandemic. Caregivers don’t just provide help with a seniors need in the home, though. Caregivers are also able to assist with many tasks that come from outside the home, too.

Caregivers can arrange mobile services so that seniors can continue to get all the help they need even while maintaining their physical distance to protect from Covid-19.

Here are some examples of just a few of these services that a caregiver can arrange for you or your elderly loved so life can go on as you continue to hunker down in the comfort and safety of home:

  • Transportation – Taking public transportation, be it the bus, a taxi, or car service isn’t ideal for seniors while Covid-19 is still in the community. A caregiver can provide transportation services to get you to and from appointments safely so that you can continue to maintain proper physical distancing.
  • Medical appointments – Times have certainly changed since the pandemic began, especially when it comes to healthcare. From doctor appointments to hearing aid consultations, more and more healthcare services are being handled virtually. A caregiver can help seniors arrange and navigate virtual medical appointments, including phone and video appointments. And, for in-person appointments, a caregiver can get you there and back safely, ensuring the necessary protective measures are taken along the way.
  • Pet services – Pets are such an important part of our lives and make such wonderful companions for seniors. Caregivers are able to book vet and grooming appointments so that Fluffy and Fido can remain healthy and happy, too. This can include arranging mobile grooming and vet services that come to you, or taking your beloved pet to an appointment.
  • Haircuts – Don’t underestimate the power of a good hair day! There is evidence that regular hair care appointments have a positive effect on the way older adults feel. Personal care, including regular haircuts and styling, play a role in helping older adults uphold dignity and maintain a sense of self.

To learn more about how our caregivers can help you stay on top of your outside responsibilities while staying safe inside, contact us anytime at 1.855.483.CARE (2273).

Article sources

  • Ward R, Campbell S, Keady J. ‘Once I had money in my pocket, I was every colour under the sun’: Using ‘appearance biographies’ to explore the meanings of appearance for people with dementia.