How to Better Control Our Caregiver Emotions

11 Dec 2020

Being a family caregiver is stressful, there is no doubt about that. There is often a roller coaster of emotions of which you cannot control, that accompany this role. If we let our emotions spiral, we lose control of the situation at hand. As caregivers we need to try out best to regulate our negative emotions so that we do not experience serious health problems in the future. Some of the common emotion’s family caregivers experience on a daily basis while caring for their loved one are listed below, also listed below are ways you can try to cope with these emotions. If you, yourself are a family caregiver I am sure you could relate to some, maybe even all of them.


Being a family caregiver can be physically and emotionally stressful. When taking care of a loved one, caregivers often put others needs before their own. Caregivers often sacrifice a lot of time, energy and their own physical and emotional needs which could lead to stress, anxiety and/or depression. Try talking to someone who can relate to what you’re going through. No one will understand quiet like another family caregiver. Join local support groups, attend workshops pertaining to family caregiving, or you can reach out to you family doctor who may point you towards another healthcare professional.


You may feel as if you have done something wrong or that you are not doing enough. Caregivers also may feel guilty about thinking of their own needs before their loved ones. As a family caregiver you take on a lot of responsibility, on top of your own already busy life. Guilt, along with one of the other emotions listed below would have to be one of the worst emotion’s family caregivers experience. In order to fight the guilt, you need to realize that you are doing the best you can for your loved one, and the only way you can continue to do your best is by ensuring your needs are met on a daily basis. You can’t pour from any empty cup.


Why me? Usually when we are put in a situation that is not of our choosing, its common to feel resentful. Maybe you feel like you are the only one stepping up and caring for your loved one. Maybe you have other family that you really wish would help share this responsibility with you. Resentment is the other caregiver emotion that is hard to cope with in my opinion, resentment often makes us feel bad about ourselves because of the way we feel towards our loved one. When you are feeling resentful you need to remember that its not your loved one’s fault. Step away from the situation, take a break- use this time to calm down and regroup your thoughts.


Even though you may not have lost your loved one you may still grieve past memories as your loved one’s illness or disease progresses and they are unable to do as much as before. Take pictures and videos of your loved one, this will help you remember the positive memories you shared together. You can also journal about your loved one - this will help release emotions.

You can also reach out to VON. They offer free bereavement services here in the Durham Region.


Sleep is something family caregivers often have a hard time getting. Your mind will not stop racing, it could be the only time in the day you have to yourself, or you may have to assist your loved one throughout the night. Sleep is important for caregivers because you need the energy to remain focused and alert during your daily routine as well as while caring for your loved one. If sleep is something you’re struggling with – ask for help. Ask a family member or friend if they could come by and sit with your loved one while you get some much-needed rest. You can also hire a Personal Support Worker for respite care.

We know these are just a few of the emotions family caregivers experience. Remember to always take care of yourself to ensure you can be the best caregiver for your loved one. 

Fall Prevention: A Safe Environment for All

09 Nov 2020

As we age our bodies naturally change. These changes affect the way we feel, move, and think. A fall can have a devastating and long-lasting impact on a person, resulting in injury, chronic pain, and a reduced quality of life. Even if a person does not injury themselves, a fall can cause an older adult to lose confidence which in turn may limit their activities.

- Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations among Canadian adults. 4 out of 5 injury hospitalizations involving seniors were because of a fall.

- Majority of falls resulted in broken or fractured bones.

- Falls are the direct cause of 95% of all hip fractures among older      adults.

- Older adults hospitalized because of a fall spent approximately 3 weeks in hospital – that is 3x longer than the average hospital stay.

Things you can do to Prevent Falls

1. Stay physically active:
Create an exercise program that is right for you. Regular exercise maintains and builds muscle. Muscle gives you strength and improves balance and stability.

2. Learn about the side effects of your medication:
Some medications can make feel dizzy or lightheaded. If these side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to let them know.

3. Stand up slowly:
Getting up to quickly can cause a drop in your blood pressure. This might make you feel dizzy and disorientated. Be sure to always stand up slowly.

4. Use an assistive device if you feel unsteady when you walk:
The appropriate use of canes and walkers can help prevent falls. Ensure the assistive device is the right size and functions properly. An Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist can help you decide which devices might be helpful and teach you how to use them safely.

5. Keep floors clear of clutter and keep your environment well lit.

6. Wear well fitting, non-slip shoes or slippers.

There are devices you can purchase that will notify first responders if your loved one has fallen. If you have not already you should consider getting your loved one a medical alert system. Medical alert systems have been proven to extend the length of time your loved one can stay independent and continue to live in their own home. 

Readers' Choice Awards 2020

01 Nov 2020

OAKWOOD HOME HEALTHCARE IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT we are winners in the 2020 Ajax/Pickering Reader Choice Awards:

Oakwood Home Healthcare won Platinum in Best Home Healthcare and Owner/PSW Lindsay Couture won Gold in Best Home Healthcare.

Oakwood Home Healthcare also won Platinum in Best Senior Services and Owner/PSW Lindsay Couture won Gold in Best Senior Services.

Thank you to everyone who voted for us!! It means so much to know that we are making a difference in the Home Healthcare sector here in the Durham Region!!

At Oakwood Home Healthcare we believe in whole family care. Supporting our clients with their personal needs and their caregivers with resources here in the community that will help relieve some of the stresses related to caregiving.

Thanksgiving 2020

12 Oct 2020

Happy Thanksgiving from the team at Oakwood Home Healthcare! We have so much to be thankful for  - thank you all for your support. 

World Alzheimer's Day 2020

21 Sept 2020

Here in Canada over 747,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer's or another dementia. Worldwide, at least 44 million people are living with dementia—more than the total population of Canada—making the disease a global health crisis that must be addressed.

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is life changing for the person with the disease, as well as their family and friends, but information, support, and resources are available. No one has to face Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia alone. 

Click Here to go to the Alzheimer's Society of Durham Region to find local support and resources. 

The Benefits of Homecare and Ageing at Home

10 Sept 2020

Now that the effects of Covid-19 are lifting, many families are working towards getting back into a regular routine. Some recognize the need to provide care for their elderly loved-ones but are concerned about health and safety conditions at an assisted living facility. As a result, in-home care is becoming an increasingly popular option. Here are

several benefits of homecare and ageing at home:

As the saying goes, there’s no place like home. Everyone feels more relaxed and comfortable in familiar surroundings. They can enjoy using their own furniture, and have their favourite foods, books and TV at their convenience. It’s wonderful to be in control of how you move around from day-to-day.

Mental Health.
Home is not only a physical place, but also where most of our lifetime

memories are made. When living at home, seniors are surrounded by their own belongings, such as photos and gifts, which may be a happy reminder of family and friends. Living in a familiar neighborhood also serves as an ongoing connection to their community.

Ageing at Home is Affordable.
Compared to an assisted living facility, ageing at home is more cost-effective. Facilities are often expensive because of the combined cost of

their room, care and food. But hiring an in-home caregiver costs less because you only pay for the time the caregiver visits the home.

Pet Ownership.
Living at home gives individuals the option of keeping a pet and even

adopting a new one. The companionship of a pet is known to ease loneliness, reduce anxiety, and calm dementia patients. Pets can be a source of joy and give purpose to an elderly person. The practice of feeding and tending to a pet alleviates boredom and isolation. In return, the person receives unconditional love from the animal.

Independence and Dignity.
Although some seniors may have medical issues, they are still adults and want to be treated as such. Ageing at home allows them to have control over their daily routines and home environment. It lets them make their own choices about when to eat, sleep, socialize and go out.

Faster Recovery After Illness.
Patients typically recover from surgery and illness faster and more successfully in the comfort of their own home. Staying at home means

less exposure to other people with illnesses and germs, resulting in a decreased risk of developing an infection.

More Family Time, and Peace of Mind.
For seniors who live with family members, they can spend time with loved ones without having to conform to visiting hours, as they

would in an assisted living facility. This provides convenience and peace of mind to both seniors and their family members. Their adult children are certain of their parent’s living conditions and can enjoy each other’s companionship 24/7.

In-Home Caregivers Offer Companionship.
For seniors who live alone and are housebound, they may experience loneliness at times. Having frequent visits from a PSW is an opportunity to have a meaningful conversation and develop a friendly

relationship. It’s another way to boost mental health and stay connected to someone in the outside world.

A PSW Can Provide Personalized Assistance.
Unlike living in an assisted living facility, having a PSW come into the home allows seniors to enjoy individual care. Their needs are met much faster than in an assisted living facility because an in-home caregiver usually tends to a single client in the home. While in the client’s home, they can focus on that individual without distractions, which results in a higher quality of care.

At Oakwood Home Healthcare, our Personal Support Workers can assist with a wide variety of physical support, household chores and errands. To book a free in-home assessment call (905)999-3977.

The Healing Benefits of Nature

23 July 2020

In July 2020, Oakwood Home Healthcare adopted a trail in Ajax. The Adopt a Trail Program is an initiative by the town of Ajax (among other towns and cities) to preserve and maintain our local parks and woodland areas.

As a trail adopter, we will help the environment by removing garbage from trails to maintain a safe and healthy space for people and wildlife. This is more than a way to give back to our community. It shows our commitment to embracing the healing benefits of nature.

Why Nature Is Good for Us

There are many unseen elements that positively affect your brain and body, like negative ions that improve your immune system and relax your body. This is a beneficial contrast to positive ions that are emitted from electronics that can wreak havoc on your system. Here’s an overview of the health benefits of nature and how to infuse more nature into your life.

Physical Benefits

Lowers blood pressure and heartrate

More regulated sleep patterns

Faster recovery time after surgery

Improved respiratory function

Mental Benefits

Improved mood and mental stamina

Reduced depression and anxiety

Increased social connectedness

Increased connection with the world around you

Spend time on hiking trails and near lakes

There are so many things that you can do in the outdoors, no matter what your interests. If you are athletic, you can benefit from hiking, running cycling or swimming. For those less active, immerse yourself in activities such as gardening, walking, or even just sitting in the park or near a large body of water.

Add nature to your daily routine

Start your day with a walk through a trail or park to lift your energy level. Even having your morning coffee in the back yard will set the tone for a gradual ramp up to your day. The energy you get from being outside gives you mental strength to properly manage stressful situations throughout the day.

Buy some house plants

Place plants around your home or office. An indoor plant can improve energy, and even decrease pain. The act of watering and caring for a plant will help to refocus away from yourself and provide the reward of watching it flourish.

Find a room with a view

Viewing nature through a window takes your mind to a place of calm and provides a break from the hard, cold concrete of buildings and streets. Spend time each day sitting by a window, whether it’s to eat a meal, work on a hobby or just to watch the world go by. The natural light provides Vitamin D, which helps to lift your mood.

Locate green space in the city

If you are not located near a forest or lake, you can still find small patches of nature in almost any city. Green space can include neighborhood parks, the property surrounding a large residential complex, or the courtyard of a recreational centre or library. Try having your lunch break in one of these areas so you can feel refreshed and ready to face the rest of your day.

Lindsay Couture shares her perspective as a caregiver

“Caring for my mother is an act of love, and while I enjoy the time we spend together, it can be stressful. I often find myself exploring the green spaces around Durham Region to help relieve the stress of being a caregiver. While on a hike in Greenwood, or even watching the deer at Lynde Shores, I find a sense of peace. During these times, I am not thinking about the chaos of medications, appointments, and my emotions. In those moments I am fully immersed in the present and not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

Taking time for ourselves is especially important for us as caregivers. We can’t pour from an empty cup, so we need to remember to refill ours daily. Enjoying nature is the perfect way to restore our energy so we can give loved ones the best care possible.”

Joy For all Companion Pet

06 July 2020

Recently, Lindsay Couture, founder of Oakwood Home Healthcare, sat down to speak with Ron Beleno about the Joy For All Companion Pet. Ron is an active advocate for dementia, caregiving, aging, and research communities. As a caregiver to his father who lived with Alzheimer's for 10+ years to age in place at home until January 2018, Ron utilized technology, community, creative strategies and access to research to support his family's life to live well and as best as possible.

The companion pet is an innovation that makes sounds and movements similar to a real cat. It was brought to market by a company called Ageless Innovations.

Ron first learned about the companion pet at a research conference. A few years later in the summer 2019, Ron participated in a panel discussion about Dementia with The Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation at Baycrest (CABHI). He received the Robotic Companion Cat as a gift and saw it as an opportunity to enrich the lives of people with dementia.

These companion pets are suitable for all ages from young children, to elderly adults. This pet is particularly suitable to someone with Dementia such as Alzheimer’s.” says Ron, “but they would have to like pets. Any fear of animals might be an issue”. Ron also sees a “potential benefit for someone who has Autism”. Animals are proven to be great companions for people with disabilities.

When asked, what is the best part about the companion cat, Ron responded, “The emotions it brings out from the person with dementia. For me, that is the high return. Some of these emotions are joy, connectedness, and a sense of security, like a security blanket.” Ron has personally seen the benefit of a cat companion with his father.

One of Lindsay's clients, Lee Anne (in the photo above) recently received a companion pet from Ron and it has been a great success. Overall, Lee Anne has had a very positive experience, and the cat has produced calming effects.

Lindsay’s point of view as a PSW and business owner is that this cat is a wonderful companion. “It has become a great resource to my client and her loved one, the family caregiver. It provides Lee Anne with a sense of purpose, comfort and security, while also providing Alex, her caregiver, with some well-needed time for himself, so he can also accomplish the things he needs to do.”

Ron agrees: “It allows time for respite and allows the ability to focus on other things”. It can free up some time in a caregiver’s day, anywhere from a minute up to a few hours, while a client is playing with the pet. It frees up the time and energy the caregiver needs so they can take a break for their own self-care or other tasks. This is a great resource to help relieve pressure and stress associated with a hectic day of caregiving.

This pet is not only a relaxing companion that helps lift their mood, but also a safe alternative to a real pet. Unlike a real animal, the companion pet does not require cleaning or feeding. Best of all, there is no risk of aggressive behavior from the pet (for example, a negative reaction to the actions of the pet owner.)

For first time buyers, Ron says to “Give it a shot because there’s a return policy. If you can afford it, try it and if you don’t like it, you can return it.”

“The only downside,” says Ron with a smile, “is that the batteries will run out.” He advises owners to always keep spare batteries nearby.

Joy For All Companion Pets can be purchased online through Amazon.

Ron Beleno can be found on Twitter @rb33canada or at his website:

Quarantine Hugs from a Distance

28 May  2020

Many individuals have a friend or family member with illnesses or

a compromised immune system. With strict social distancing

measures in place, face-to-face contact is not always possible.

Increasingly, people are using technology to stay in touch or manage the healthcare needs of their loved ones. This is especially true for those living more than a 1-hour drive away from the person in need.

There are many ways that you can help and support a loved one

from a distance:

~ Help manage their finances online.

~ Coordinate services they need (Home Care services, Physiotherapy, Dialysis treatments)

~ Help organize taxes and insurance claims

~ Organize delivery of medication and groceries.

~ Contact a neighbour to help with yard maintenance or walk

their dog.

~Arrange for a professional caregiver to do a home check-up


~Send flowers to brighten their day.

At Oakwood Home Healthcare we offer home wellness checks to

clients with healthcare needs. If you are unable to visit your loved

one during this time and want to ensure that they are safe and

well, we can help.

Whether you require a one-time visit or ongoing support, contact

us to make arrangements. Email Lindsay at

[email protected]

Big Announcement! 

16 May  2020

Oakwood Home Healthcare has launched a monthly newsletter! Each month we'll share useful news, resources, and information about caring for your loved ones.

Click here if you wish to subscribe and please feel free to share the link with a caregiver you know.

Happy Mothers Day!

10 May  2020

Happy Mothers Day from our team at Oakwood Home Healthcare.

Happy National Nurses Day! 

6 May  2020

Happy Nurses Day to all the dedicated nurses in this world. Thank you for all your hard work on the front-line during this COVID-19 pandemic and every other day of the year. 

Avoiding Caregiver Fatigue

29 April  2020

We are living in a time where our healthcare system is stretched beyond its limit and there is an increasing awareness about caregiver burnout among family caregivers and PSWs.

Being a caregiver brings you closer to your loved one, it provides purpose and creates 
inner strength. You may sometimes feel fearful about the future, angry about the situation you are in, frustrated about limitations while also anxious about all the things you need to do.

As a caregiver these emotions are normal, but you need to recognize if it’s burnout starting to set in. Some of the warning signs of caregiver burnout include loss of interest in things previously enjoyed, low energy, anger/irritability or a desire to run away from it all. Caregivers might also experience feelings of overwhelm, sudden weight loss, or have a hard time concentrating on the task at hand. 

Caregiver burnout is the result of consistently neglecting your own health and wellness, 
while taking care of others. It is important that you put yourself first, so that you can be strong for the ones you love. You always provide the best care when you are at your best!

How to Prevent Burnout

Confide in a friend. Call a friend and talk about your feelings and frustrations. Someone close to you can recognize when you are pushing yourself too hard. Take their advice about when it’s time to take a break and restore your energy.

Get relief. Arrange to have someone take over your duties when you need a break. You can ask a friend or family member to look after the person in your care while you have a few hours to rest and re-energize. Taking a break is most effective if you get away for a few days at a time. Consider taking a weekend off when you can relax reconnect with the other people in your life. If you need help, contact us at Oakwood Home Healthcare and ask about our respite services.

Practice self-care. Implement a daily self-care routine in your own life. This could include daily breaks to pray or meditate, listen to music, or enjoy a cup of tea. On a weekly basis, set aside time for activities that are uplifting and fun. Engage in a hobby, spend time in nature, or watch an inspiring film. Regular “me-time” is a healthy way to cool down and take a break from the intensity and high demands of caring for others.

Eat Well. Busy caregivers barely have time to prepare nutritious meals. It’s convenient to grab fast food but it will not give you the energy you need to stay strong and alert throughout the day. Strive to eat meals that contain fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and a healthy source of protein. The best way to stay consistent with healthy eating is to prep your meals overnight to avoid the mad dash for packaged food when hunger strikes.

Look after your mental health. Our mental health affects the way we think, feel, and act. It can also affect how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Don’t ignore your consistent feelings despair and sadness. Seek out help from a trusted friend or reach out to organizations such as CMHA that can refer you to the support systems

in your area.

Happy Easter!

12  April  2020

Happy Easter from the Oakwood Home Healthcare Family. We hope you had a day full of laughter and joy.

Thank You Timeless Tattoo Company!

04  April  2020

Wow! Where do we begin... THANK YOU Timeless Tattoo Company for your generous donation of personal protective equipment and disinfectants to Oakwood Home Healthcare. We appreciate your generosity and support during this difficult time. Thank you CBC News: Marketplace for making it all happen and capturing it on video. The shortage of PPE for healthcare workers is very scary. Healthcare workers require PPE to do their jobs. Timeless Tattoo Company has allowed Oakwood Home Healthcare workers to protect themselves while supporting clients here in our community during this pandemic.

It's National Organ Donor Day! 

14  February  2020

Today is National Organ Donor Day! Organ donation saved Owner; Lindsay Couture's moms life, not only once but two times. Patti Couture received her first double lung transplant on December 24, 2013 and her second double lung transplant on December 4, 2018. Thank you to the amazing staff at Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Rehab that supported her mom through the operations and through out her recovery. Thank you to the Trillium Gift of Life Network for everything you do for transplant recipients and donor families & lastly the biggest Thank You of all goes to the donors and their families themselves. Without you, people wouldn't get a second chance.

Right now in Ontario, there are over 1,500 people waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. This is their only treatment option, and every 3 days someone will die because they did not get their transplant in time.

But you can help. When you register your consent for organ and tissue donation, you let those waiting know that you would help them if you could.

~ One donor can save up to 8 lives through organ donation and enhance the lives of up to 75 more through the gift of tissue.

~ Age alone does not disqualify someone from becoming a donor. The oldest organ donor was over 90 and the oldest tissue donor was over 100. There’s always potential to be a donor; it shouldn’t stop you from registering.

~ Your current or past medical history does not prevent you from registering to be a donor. Individuals with serious illnesses can, sometimes, be organ and/or tissue donors. Each potential donor is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

~ All major religions support organ and tissue donation, or respect an individual’s choice.

Registering to be a donor only takes 2 minutes. Head over to to learn more!

We're Hiring! 

31  January  2020

Oakwood Home Healthcare is growing! We are looking for Personal Support Workers in the Durham Region. If you or someone you know is interested in this position please visit our employment page! 

Young Carers Awareness!

26  January  2020

The owner Lindsay Couture has been a Young Carer for the past 16+ years. Lindsay wishes she knew about the Young Carers support program - especially in her younger years (14-21). Young Carers go unnoticed everyday in our community and its time they get some well deserved love and support. Oakwood Home Healthcare is joining the Young Carer Project. Stay tuned for some upcoming exciting news!

Beat "Blue Monday" This Year!

19  January  2020

"Blue Monday" falls on the third Monday of every January and is referred to as the most depressing day of the year. Apparently "Blue Monday" is caused by a combination of Christmas cheer fading away, gloomy weather, lack of motivation after failing a new years resolution, and debt accumulated during the Christmas holidays. Many people (maybe you?) are really feeling the stresses that occur during this time of year. Here are some tips that will hopefully help you over come this day. 

Thank You Alzheimer Society of Durham Region and Ontario Tech University! 

17  January  2020

Last night Oakwood Home Healthcare attended an event at Ontario Tech University put on in collaboration with the Alzheimer's Society of Durham Region. The event was a film screening called Much Too Young. Much Too Young is a documentary that follows four families as they deal with Alzheimer’s disease at a very young age. It’s more common than we think. There are more than half a million cases in Canada today, and ten percent of these cases affect people under sixty years of age.

Alzheimer’s disease has dramatically altered the lives of these teenagers and young adults in their 20s as they live day-to-day, shouldering the responsibility of helping care for their parents. The film reveals the intense relationships between each family member, and how the family dynamic has altered from a typical parent-child relationship. The film powerfully demonstrates how this disease not only affects the person diagnosed and the primary caregiver, but how it takes a toll on the family and someone in the prime of their lives – the children caregivers. 

This hit home for Oakwood Home Healthcare's owner Lindsay Couture. Lindsay become a young care giver to her mother at the age of 11. She has been her moms main live-in caregiver for the past 16+ years. She has supported her mom through respiratory issues as well as two double lung transplants. There needs to be more support for young carers in our community.

**Young carers have many different experiences. They could have a sibling, parent, or older adult living in their home with a physical or developmental disability, mental illness, addictions issue,  language barrier issues, and a chronic or life threatening illness. 

Thank You Alzheimer Society of Durham Region!

11  January  2020

Today we attended the Virtual Dementia Tour at the Alzheimer Society of Durham Region! The demonstration was very powerful. It was a great insight to how people live day to day with Dementia. We took this Virtual Tour to try and understand what our clients may be feeling or why they may be acting a certain way in hopes to support them better.

The key learning point from today's activity was that we need to treat most behaviors as coping strategies. Figure out what the person is trying to communicate to us and go about fixing it. We encourage caregivers to take part in the Virtual Dementia Tour to
help understand what your loved one is experiencing. 

Thank You Live Well Family Chiropractic! 

10  January  2020

Lindsay attended a 2020 Vision Board workshop at Live Well Family Chiropractic last night and left feeling very inspired for the decade ahead. You will see in the next few months Oakwood Home Healthcare start to grow immensely. This is a very exciting time for us and we cannot wait to see what the future holds. We thank you for the continued support and look forward to meeting new people from our community. 

The Virtual Dementia Tour®

06  January  2020

We will be in Whitby this Saturday, January 11, 2020 at The Alzheimer Society of Durham Region taking part in The Virtual Dementia Tour®

Happy New Year From Oakwood Home Healthcare 

01  January  2020

May you always be surrounded by hope and guided by the stars. Wishing you and your family peace, love, and laughter in the New Year!

Happy Holidays From Oakwood Home Healthcare

21  December  2019

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Holiday Season.