Shelly Lucas with Home Care Assistance of Halton-Peel/Hamilton Receives Caregiver of the Year Award

Lucas beats out 4,000 caregivers to receive the Caregiver of the Year Award at the annual Home Care Assistance Franchise Convention in Vancouver

Oakville, ON (PRWEB) July 04, 2011
Home Care Assistance, North America’s leading provider of non-medical, in-home care for seniors, is excited to announce Shelly Lucas as the winner of the 2011 Caregiver of the Year award. The award will be presented by Lily Sarafan, COO of Home Care Assistance, at the annual Franchise Convention in Vancouver, BC this week. The process that determines the Caregiver of the Year is competitive; Shelly was selected out of 4,000 caregivers. She was chosen because of her compassion and her ability to connect with her clients.
“Shelly was not only Harold’s caregiver and companion, but she was also a strong pillar of support for his family,” said Judy Bennett, Owner of Home Care Assistance Halton-Peel/Hamilton. “Shelly was highly perceptive and responsive as a caregiver and greatly enhanced Harold’s quality of life. She treated him as a family member, not just someone who needed supervision. Although Harold has passed away, his family knows how much he enjoyed his time with Shelly.”
From the first day care started, Shelly and Harold had an instant connection. She would fix nutritious meals and snacks for him, take him and his beloved dog for walks outside and do arts & crafts projects with him at his home. All of these activities and services are based on Home Care Assistance’s Balanced Care Method, a scientifically based approach that promotes healthy longevity, physical activity, stress reduction and social interaction for older adults so they can age in the comfort of their own homes.
Shelly would plan frequent outings for Harold, usually to get coffee or tea, and once spent the day at the local fire station with him. She would often take pictures of the places they visited and placed them in frames to give to the family. Shelly made the most of the time she spent with Harold. One day she purchased some plaster and together they made an imprint of Harold’s hand. They turned this into a plaque engraved with a special message and gave it to his granddaughter.
“I am continually impressed by the exceptional level of care our caregivers provide their clients,” said Dr. Kathy Johnson PhD, CMC, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Home Care Assistance. “I am thrilled that Shelly is the winner of the Caregiver of the Year Award. Her devotion to Harold and compassion toward him and his family make her an example that I strive to follow.”
To learn more about services provided by Home Care Assistance of Halton-Peel/Hamilton visit us at: or call 905-337-1200.
Home Care Assistance of Halton-Peel/Hamilton was founded in 2010 and currently employs a staff of more than 100 full and part-time caregivers. Their office is located at 90 Lakeshore Road West in Oakville. A leading provider of non-medical home care for seniors, the company has earned a strong reputation for specializing in both live-in and hourly care. A 2011 Franchise500® Company, Home Care Assistance has also been named a Fast 55 Company by The Franchise Times. As recognized leaders in cloud computing technology, proprietary caregiver training and targeted consumer marketing, Home Care Assistance’s management team seeks strong partners to help develop the brand in new markets. For more information about Home Care Assistance and available franchise opportunities, please visit or

Home Care Assistance offers the highest quality 24/7 live-in home care in the Region of Halton (Oakville, Burlington, Halton Hills, and Milton), Region of Peel (Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon), Hamilton and surrounding areas.

Summer is a very popular time for all ages to travel. For seniors in particular, traveling may be accompanied by special considerations or challenges. Please use the tips below to better prepare for your next trip with an aging parent or loved one. Home Care Assistance wishes you a safe and happy journey!
Pre-planning for your vacation – Many travel agents specialize in senior travel, so ask what they recommend. Take an hour or so to research the medical facilities, climate, language and culture in the place that you will be traveling. Purchasing a guide book is the best way to learn about your destination and they are affordable. If you have a pre-existing illness, don’t forget to buy travel insurance!
Packing – If you do not have a suitcase with wheels, purchase one – it makes traveling much easier. Include a medical kit in your carry-on bag and if you take medication, a clearly marked pill box will help you remember which medications you need to take and when.
Traveling with a disability – Plan ahead by calling airlines, hotels and the local tourist authority at your destination to make necessary arrangements for the duration of your travel. Let them know what your disability is and if any special requirements or accommodations are needed.
Pre-trip medical checkups – Consult with your doctor to see if you should have a medical check-up prior to departure. Consider vaccinations and discuss any health concerns, such as dietary changes, time zone differences and medications.
Traveling with medication – When going abroad, make sure your medication is legal in the country you are visiting. Contact the country’s embassy or consulate to check. Discuss the medicine you will require with your doctor and have him or her write you a letter describing the medication, dosage and that it is for personal use. Keep all medicine in its original labeled container to avoid trouble with Customs.
Clothing – Wear comfortable, breathable clothing when traveling, allowing blood to circulate easily. When flying, compression stockings are sometimes helpful for seniors. Always avoid tight socks or stockings.
Exercise -- Exercise, especially during long trips, is important for your muscles, joints and overall circulation. Standing, walking and stretching a few times mid-flight will alleviate any stiffness. Due to low humidity levels on planes, drinking fluids is very important as you can easily get dehydrated.
Must have information – Make sure to have your doctor’s and emergency contact’s number, airline carrier and U.S. Embassy (if traveling abroad) number easily accessible and in a centralized place in case of emergency.
Help can be hired – Everyone needs occasional respite. If you are the primary caregiver for your parent or loved one, hire a caregiver from a reputable agency to take care of them while you are gone. Bringing your elderly loved one with you? You can hire a caregiver to accompany you on your trip, or you can hire a caregiver on short notice once you reach your destination. Home Care Assistance currently has 60 locations throughout North America. See if we are in a city near you!
Whether it’s near or far, remember these important tips for senior travel and enjoy a relaxing vacation!

Home Care Assistance offers the highest quality 24/7 live-in home care in the Region of Halton (Oakville, Burlington, Halton Hills, and Milton), Region of Peel (Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon), Hamilton and surrounding areas.

Canada's new and improved food guide


If we have kids at home, we may have seen the little angels bring home a copy of Canada's Food Guide from school. Some of us are reminded of it when we walk into the doctor's office. And at the very least, the rest of us vaguely remember what the Food Guide looked like from nutrition and phys ed classes in elementary school - with fruits and vegetables, meats and cheeses, all lined up neatly on the rainbow-coloured illustration. But there is more to this Food Guide than just a memory or a picture, especially since a new version came out in early 2007.

This guide, the first new version in 15 years, was a long time coming, especially given the fact that so much in the science of nutrition and health has changed. For example, in 1992, we didn't know as much as we do now about trans fats or the importance of extra vitamin D for people over the age of 50. We've also seen foods from many more cultures show up in supermarkets - first displayed on one shelf and now filling entire aisles.

The Food Guide has been completely updated to take into account all these changes in what we eat and what we know. It also has a new name: Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide (the 1992 version was calledCanada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating). There are lots of tips on how to make healthy eating a complete experience, with interactive tools to help you get comfortable with serving sizes and to learn about the different food groups. And you will probably be pleasantly surprised to find that more of the foods people from different cultures eat every day are now part of the rainbow.

Getting more specific and friendly

The new guide outlines more specific and friendly eating strategies, which feature the following:
  • Updates on the 4 food groups: The 4 food groups are still the same: vegetables and fruit, milk and alternatives, meat and alternatives, and grain products. But now vegetables and fruits replace grain products in the outer ring of the rainbow, emphasizing larger portions of this food group over grain products.
  • Portion sizes and servings: Serving sizes have been revised with narrower, more specific age ranges (e.g., children 2 to 3 years of age are now included), and further broken down to female and male portions of all age groups.
  • Advice for different groups: Specific advice is given to different groups of people (e.g., children should eat nutritious foods and include some choices that contain fat, such as peanut butter and avocado; all women who could become pregnant and those who are pregnant or breast-feeding need a multivitamin containing folic acid every day; and individuals over 50 should include a vitamin D supplement in their diet), and advice is given to limit salts, sugars, and processed foods.
  • Oils and fats: Recommendations include a small amount of unsaturated fat each day (30 mL to 45 mL, or 2 to 3 tablespoons), and to select unsaturated vegetable oils such as canola, flaxseed, and soybean over butter, hard margarine, lard, or shortening.
  • Beverages: Water is recommended as the drink of choice, flavoured with lemon, lime, or orange wedges, and milk and 100% fruit juices are suggested in place of soft drinks, punches, or alcohol.
  • Details on serving sizes: More detailed examples are given on how to measure one serving size (e.g., 1 slice of bread, ½ a bagel, and ½ a pita are one serving each).
  • Culture-specific foods: New food items and their appropriate portion sizes are now included in the new guide, such as bok choy, lychee, and naan, recognizing that Canadians eat a variety of different foods to meet their daily nutritional needs.
  • Physical activity: Exercise and fitness are also emphasized in the new Food Guide, with directions on how much and how often you should exercise.
Overall, the guide highlights a holistic and balanced approach to healthy eating, and emphasizes the importance of incorporating exercise into daily activities. As you get increasingly familiar with the Food Guide, you will be able to make healthier eating choices for yourself and your loved ones, while slowly phasing out foods that have little or no nutritional value.
In addition to the updated guide, Health Canada also launched the first-ever national Food Guide for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. This supplemental food guide specifically addresses the nutritional practices for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis and it should assist Aboriginal communities and Northerners in making informed healthy choices, while respecting their traditional way of life.

How do I use it?

Manoeuvring around the Food Guide might be a little confusing if you are a first-time Food Guide follower. But do not despair. There are tools and tips that the guide offers to help you decide and plan your meals around your specific needs - even around the needs of each family member. You can also check out the various sample menus for the family, which cater to different individuals at home.
Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide helps you learn how to:
  • read the labels on food items
  • plan your meals
  • add up your serving portions
  • keep track of what you eat
  • restrict unhealthy foods
The guide also offers tips for:
  • shopping for the right foods
  • snacking wisely
  • dining out
  • keeping fit wherever you are
  • beating obstacles that keep you from eating well
Health Canada and the Dietitians of Canada have collaboratively put together a few interactive tools that you may find useful in keeping up with healthy eating:
  • My Food Guide allows you to create your own food guide based on your food choices and preferences.
  • EATracker helps you compare whether what you are eating meets the recommendations of the Food Guide.
  • Let's Make a Meal contains a built-in Food Guide calculator that allows you to calculate serving portions based on your personal meal plans.
You can get the full version of the new 2007 Eating Well with Canada's Food Guideat Canada's Food Guide is now available in 12 languages.

Going beyond the guide

Canada's Food Guide has a long history going back to its roots in 1942, when the first guide, then titled Canada's Official Food Rules, made its debut - a national effort born of a need to educate Canadians on food portions during the lean wartime years.
Times have since changed, and the updated Food Guide reflects the evolving health needs of Canadians. Of course, there is always room for improvement, and feedback is already trickling in. For example, suggestions have been made to include daily caloric intakes and trans fat targets.
Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide is more than just a few pages filled with serving portions and calorie counts. It also represents a collective venture to reduce the occurrence of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and stroke. The risk of these conditions is increased by eating poorly and being inactive.
There is a lot to be said for eating well and staying fit. And you can start by getting a free copy of your Food Guide today.

Home Care Assistance offers the highest quality 24/7 live-in home care in the Region of Halton (Oakville, Burlington, Halton Hills, and Milton), Region of Peel (Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon), Hamilton and surrounding areas.

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