4 Tips for Balancing Caregiving and Work

Caring for your senior loved one can be a big responsibility, and it can be easy to burn out if you also happen to be working a full-time job. The experienced staff at Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of senior home care in Waterloo, offers these 4 tips on how to find that middle ground between work and caregiving.

1. Ask for Help

If caring for your loved one by yourself has become difficult, try asking family members, friends, neighbors, or members of your church or religious community for assistance. Consider adult day care services or an hourly caregiver in Waterloo who can assist with tasks like housekeeping, laundry, grocery shopping, and meal preparation.

2. Talk to Your Boss

While some caregivers want to keep their lives private, letting your employer know what you’re dealing with outside of work can help ease the stress you may be feeling. If you express your desire to remain a valued employee and discuss your options honestly and realistically, you may be able to find a way to balance work with your obligations at home.

3. Adjust Your Schedule

If the option for flexible hours at your job exists, you may want to consider changing up your schedule to help accommodate your loved one’s needs. Find out if you can work part-time or from home on occasion to make managing both work responsibilities and caregiving duties easier.

4. Take Time Off

Sometimes it’s just not possible to work while caring for your loved one, so you may need to take some time away from your job. Talk to your employer’s human resources department or check with Canada’s Labour Program for more information on family leave laws.

Despite your best efforts, balancing both work and caregiving may have become difficult to manage. If you could use help managing your loved one’s care needs, consider the senior care services provided by Home Care Assistance. In addition to flexible hourly care and comprehensive live-in care in Waterloo, we also offer Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia care in Waterloo. Call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers today at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.

Exercises for Seniors with Mobility Challenges

Does your elderly loved one face daily issues with mobility, and you’re wondering which exercises can help build his or her inner and outer strength? To help your loved one find the best exercise solutions, the experienced senior care staff at Home Care Assistance of Waterloo wants to share some effective options.


Stretching can increase your loved one’s flexibility and loosen tight muscles and joints, both of which become more important to everyday mobility with age. Other benefits include increased energy, greater blood circulation, and improved posture.


Aerobic exercises can raise your loved one’s heart rate, increasing circulation and cardiovascular health, and improve stamina. Encourage your loved one to try a cardio chair workout designed for seniors specifically with mobility challenges. These workouts are zero-impact and can be adjusted for your loved one’s specific needs.

Strength Training

With approval from your loved one’s doctor, lightweight dumbbells or resistance bands can be used to increase strength, improve walking ability, and prevent muscle deterioration.

Water Activities

Many gyms and recreation centers offer flotation devices designed for those with limited mobility. Water exercises can be a great option for your loved one because the buoyancy of the water will take pressure off his or her joints. Kicks, punches, and slow jumping jacks in the water can help your loved one experience an enjoyable workout in the water with less pain.

If everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning are harder for your loved one to complete due to mobility challenges, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We offer live-in and hourly care in Waterloo, and our caregivers can assist with everything from assistance during physical activity to personal grooming. For more information, contact one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (519) 954-2111.

5 Sugar Substitutes for Healthy Senior Diets

If you’re a caregiver for a senior relative, you probably already know that eating a lot of sugar is bad for your elderly loved one. To help ensure that your loved one can have something sweet without eating too much sugar, the senior care experts at Home Care Assistance Waterloo suggest incorporating these sugar substitutes in your loved one’s diet.

1. Applesauce

One cup of unsweetened applesauce only has 100 calories, as well as plenty of fiber, vitamins and minerals, making it a perfect substitute for sugar in when baking. Switch out the white sugar for an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce in recipes to drastically lower the number of calories without sacrificing sweetness. Plus, applesauce offers plenty of moisture to keep cookies gooey and muffins from getting dry.

2. Raw Honey

Raw honey packs a powerful antioxidant punch, fighting allergies, colds, and infections. Raw honey can be used in lieu of sugar in anything from smoothies and tea to salad dressings or oatmeal. And, as honey is sweeter than cane sugar, it will offer a sweeter taste with fewer calories.

3. Rapadura

For a real sugar flavor without heavy processing, consider switching white sugar for rapadura sugar. This unrefined cane sugar is less processed and contains more vitamins and minerals than regular sugar. Rapadura is also a great source of critical nutrients, like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, as well as vitamins A, B1, B2 and B6. Since rapadura is made from sugar, it can also be used for baking and marinades.

4. Reb A

Reb A is a type of sweetener made from the stevia plant and it is the sweetest of all stevia components. Reb A, 200x sweeter than sugar, is sold under Pure Via. Reb A is perfect for seniors who love a little bit of sugar in their morning tea or coffee, blending easily into hot beverages.

5. Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar is unrefined, retaining all of its vitamins and minerals, and does not make blood sugar fluctuate, though keep in mind: Diabetics should still consult their doctor before incorporating coconut sugar into their diets. Coconut sugar can be used as a one-to-one substitute for white or brown sugar, making it easy to use in the kitchen for baking or for an extra touch of sweetness in drinks.

For other ways to help keep your elderly loved one healthy, turn to Home Care Assistance. As a leading provider of home care, our professional hourly and 24/7 caregivers in Waterloo are dedicated to helping seniors adopt and maintain healthy habits, including physician-recommended diets and exercise routines. For more information about how our senior care services can benefit your elderly loved one, give a Care Manager a call at (519) 954-2111 and schedule a free in-home consultation.

4 Strategies That Help Seniors Prevent Depression

For many seniors, feelings of isolation and loneliness can lead to depression. If your elderly loved one is unable to leave the home because of physical or cognitive challenges, he or she may be at an increased risk for developing these negative emotions. To help ensure your loved one stays happy and healthy, the senior care experts at Waterloo Home Care Assistance suggest the following strategies to combat depression.

1. Treat Any Insomnia

If your loved one doesn’t get enough sleep each night, he or she is more likely to become depressed. Help your loved one sleep better by setting up a sleep schedule with a regular waking and bed time, avoid napping throughout the day, and discourage the use of alcohol and caffeine, especially in the afternoons. If the symptoms of insomnia persist, talk to your loved one’s doctor for further treatment.

2. Promote Social Ties

Your senior loved one may experience bouts of loneliness or isolation if family or friends live far away. However, encouraging your loved one to to become social and make new friends can help. If it is difficult for your loved one to leave his or her home, helping him or her learn to use a computer to email or Skype with friends or family is a good alternative. Additionally, some studies have shown that simply looking at a picture of loved ones can help prevent depression. With your loved one’s permission, place pictures throughout his or her home to prevent feelings of loneliness.

3. Encourage Exercise

Participating in gentle exercises may help your loved one stay happy, reduce stress, and promote physical health. Performing some light exercise, including walking, stretching, or swimming, even just three times a week can be an effective and enjoyable way to help support your loved one’s mental health.

4. Hire an In-Home Caregiver

Hiring a Waterloo hourly caregiver for your senior loved one can provide him or her with an alternative source of companionship. As a caregiver can also help your loved one with a range of daily tasks, including cleaning, cooking, light housework, and running errands, in addition to providing emotional support, a carefully matched caregiver can make living at home safe, comfortable, and happy for your loved one.

If your loved one is often home alone as a result of a physical or cognitive condition, like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our experienced Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s caregivers in Waterloo are professionally trained to provide in-home assistance, including mobility assistance, safety monitoring, and medication reminders, for a variety of senior needs. To learn more about our care services, give a Care Manager a call at (519) 954-2111 and schedule a free no-obligation consultation.