Scones Easy Recipe Treats for Seniors in Care

by francy Dickinson                                 www.seniorcarewithspirit.com

Most care givers are busy, tired or very young and many do not know how to bake. Yet a Senior in Care loves the taste of homemade and that means they eat so much more when you take time to do a little baking. I try to think of things that are easy to make and seniors will be happy to eat…so give this one a try. Lots of seniors lose their taste for food as they add more and more health problems to their lives, if you can add a tasty treat instead of a boring microwave heated dinner–you will see a marked improvement. NO, you do not have to bake on a daily basis, but easy bake items once to twice a week give the senior a tickle to their taste buds. You can add a fun pick me up for your family and your senior in care…with this easy breezy recipe

For me scones are a part of my heritage. I live in Washington state and over 100 years ago our state fair began in Puyallup, Washington. A company called Fisher was trying to sell their flour and they wanted to advertise it by selling something good to eat, easy to bake at the fair and have folks talking. Scones were what they decided try and it was a winner with hundreds of thousands sold each year. All these years later we still all go to the fair craving a few of the delicious fair scones that we remember from childhood. You can buy the fancy package to make the scones at home…but the easier and quicker way to enjoy them is to use quick baking mix. You know like Bisquick…but now I use the quick baking mix from Walmart its cheaper and just as easy and yummy.I keep the mix in a large plastic bin so it stays fresh and I can use it for easy baking anytime. Even when I am using another kitchen while I am care giving…the baking mix is on the shelf ready for me when I need it.

This mix takes very little prep and very few ingredients so you will find even a person who never bakes a thing– can make this and enjoy the flavor. You will have to look around your own or the senior’s kitchen a day before to see what they have on the shelf, but it is usually easy to find stuff. Now I make them like they do at the fair, nice and fluffy, filled with butter, raspberry jam and a hit of whip cream  inside…it simply melts in your mouth. You do not want to make a big batch because it’s a “eat them while fresh” type of thing. If you have leftovers share them with other seniors in your neighborhood. I have wrapped them and left them on door knobs of neighbors to have them call back raving about the taste. It’s nice to have a thanks but it is so easy you will see that the praise gets embarrassing.

First you start by making sure the oven is empty. Unused ovens often hold pots and pans, so clear it out and set the rack in the middle and then dial the oven on button to set the temp at 400. Let that get hot as you prep your recipe and it will be just right when you’re ready to bake. You will use a regular bowl and need a cookie sheet, or something like it to bake it in. All stoves come with a baking dish with rack if you can not findanything like a cookie sheet, you might find it in the senior’s kitchen look under the stove in the drawer, it will be there. You just need a large baking dish or sheet and you can spray it with a Pam like spray —> make sure you spray it over the sink so the floor does not get slippery.

Now that you have all the support stuff ready it is time to put the recipe together. You’ll find this so easy to do. Find a bowl and open the quick baking mix and dip out 2 cups of the mix. You will add 1/4 cup of sugar to the mix and toss it with a couple shakes of nutmeg. Crack two eggs in a smaller bowl and use a fork to stir the eggs to mix them and then add them into the baking mix you have in the bigger bowl. Use your fork and mix until the mixture sticks together into a ball…it will be a little wet but dont worry.

Now, spread out a big piece of wax paper on the counter, or you can use a linen towel. Put the ball of dough in the center of the wax paper and push down on the dough so it is in a flat circle. Now start to fold over 1/2 of the circle onto the other and push down. Use the wax paper to push it down so you dont get your hands to0 sticky. Now you just repeat this action so you are building up the layers. When the scones bake they will rise and have yummy layers. Fold over 1/2 of dough onto itself and push down. Till you do this four times. Now press the dough down, push it into a circle again and then down to slightly flatten it out with the wax paper on the bottom and top until it is in a round that is about six inches across.

Cut the dough like a pizza into about 6 sections and pick them up with a spatula and place them onto the greased baking sheet. Keep them slightly apart because they will rise and expand as they bake. Put 2 tbsp of butter (covered) in the microwave for just a few seconds (10-15sec) to melt and then spread over tops of the sections. Sprinkle lightly with more sugar and sprinkle over the top with just a hint of nutmeg. Bake for about 6-10 minutes OR until light golden brown. Turn on the oven light and keep an eye on them so they dont over bake but they will be thick and they will need to get golden brown to be done all the way through. Take out of oven and place on a new piece of wax paper. Let it sit for a min and get the fillings ready to go. I love the taste of raspberry jam, but any jam, jelly or if nothing on shelf even syrup would do. Slice the scone open just enough to push in some butter that will melt on contact and then use a small spoon to slide in the jam and when that is done- stick the Reddi Whip nozzle in the opening and give it a short shot of whip cream.Oh my, now smell…it will knock your socks off so good

Serve with hot tea or coffee…it is so easy and yet so good. The smell just wafts up as they bake and the melting butter, jam and whip cream make it look so good. They’re served in small wax paper bags at the fair and everyone walks around eating them by hand. But I like them on a plate with a fork so I can enjoy every bite.

Come on how easy was that…it will smell wonderful, taste good and bring back memories of tea time with your mother when you were a child. It is so yummy that I’m leaving this computer and going to the kitchen to make a batch myself. Enjoy your home-made warm and sweet treat! Boy is George going to be surprised! francy

You will find more ideas of how to care for the seniors, your spouse and your parents in my Senior Care Workbook 101. It was written for those of us who are not nurses and still have to give care with quality to our family members. You will find it on the products page www.seniorcarewithspirit.com

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Help My Parents Can Not Take Care of Each Other

by francy Dickinson                          www.seniorcarewithspirit.com

Dear Francy; My dad is 82 with mild dementia and osteoporosis and my mother is 80 with heart problems and weakness. They simply can no longer care for their own needs without my help. I have increased my time with them up to 2 hrs a day but I am at the end of my ability to care for them. We have no money for a retirement home and I do not know what to do? I have three siblings, all male and unable to give care and so I am on my own here.

OK, if there is simply no money (I understand they are in a smaller and older home) Here are some steps to help you out:

  1. Make sure you have your name on the Health Care Directive for both of them. This is a form that is filled out and it then goes to the notary so you can make decisions legally for your parents.
  2. Remove your attachment to your parent’s home and look at it with an eye if you were going to sell the home tomorrow. Walk through the house and mark down what has to be done to ready for sale. Heavy cleaning with older folks living there unable to see dirt or move furniture or refrigerators to get things cleaned. Walls need paint, wall paper needs to be removed, bathrooms need painting and new faucets, updating and kitchen needs declutter? Write it all down in a notebook. Edit down their things no longer used as much as you can and still keep your parents feeling safe and cozy in their home. Changes are hard for elders so make them with ease and in a quiet manner.
  3. Now, think about getting a reverse mortgage, that’s a way a lot of families are dealing with monthly income. Call a reverse mortgage place and have them come and look at the home and explain all the benefits and downfalls. That is what they will do. They will make a flat fee for doing the paperwork on the mortgage and it is done through the government, so you can feel free to take their time and ask questions. It means it is a way for your parents to get the money they have invested in their home out each month. Then when they pass the home is sold and if there is anything left it goes to their heirs on their will.
  4. Call a local real estate person and ask them to simply come and view the home and evaluate it for you. They will do this with the hope that you will use them as an agent when you choose to see the home. Also ask them if the home is rentable as an income instead of selling, they will know the area and give you guidance.
  5. Call the Veterans Association, if one of your parents has served in the military and see where they are on the health care coverage. You will find it’s a sliding scale according to the time and type of service they served. If the Vets will help with care you can enjoy their services and save some money on care.
  6. Call their Medicare supplement insurance company and tell them you need them to send you a booklet on the outline of what care their plans are providing. Then you know where you stand with money for services for your parents. Twice a year you can change Medicare supplement insurance companies, you may find that now that your parents are in a higher need of care, there is other insurance policies that will cover more of the costs. Make some calls and study the Internet on this issue, it can make a big difference in money spent.
  7. If they have attended a faith center call and ask what type of community care they provide. Often large faith centers have seniors that will give you an hour or two a week, a dinner program, or in home visiting program. It all helps.
  8. Ask about Meals on Wheels in your parent’s area, this program is delightful for seniors that no longer cook. You can supplement the extra pie or cookies, take them extras on the bigger meals you cook at home and still have the meals in the freezer for your parents to microwave. If they no longer can cook or reheat, then that option will not be there for you.
  9. Call the state welfare and ask for a booklet on what type of care they provide for seniors with small incomes and they will send you information on that form of help. This is really important, because once you know what money you have to work with you can then move on and hire help accordingly. Lets say the state will only give you food coupons, that means a couple hundred a month on their income that can be spent on care givers not food. It is a good thing to ask for help, it is there for elders and it has been paid for by your parents in their taxes for years. The state may also pay you to care for your parents so your own time with them could be increased with an income or other care services could be added.

Now that you know about their money income it is time to add to your in home care assistance or to a more traditional adult care home, or assisted living facility.

  1. It is not easy to keep a couple together in assisted living if they have different types of care required. Dementia has a staff trained to handle emotional problems and health side problems. Health care for mom takes care givers that are trained for challenging medications- those are two different care giving situations and it may take time and extra looking to find a facility or home that will fulfill both care issues. So start to call today, if you think your parents will need a spot to go to in the next few months. There are waiting lists in many facilities and you want to be prepared not stunned when the time comes to take that step. Even if you think it will be another year, talk and get on waiting lists.( This is what I do for my income, I help families find those facilities and make their senior’s transition into them. I do not charge the family a fee.)
  2. If you are going to be staying on as their care giver you have to know it will be a more time consuming effort than what you are giving now. You will sit down with your brothers and have a talk. It is no joke, this has to be an adult conversation about your parents, without your parents in the room. So you can be free to speak of their health challenges and let them all know that things are heating up and growing out of control for you personally to care for them. Many family members respond to money rather than time. So explain it will take a min of $10 up to $25 dollars an hour for in home care. If they need only 4-5 hrs a day that is $100 a day…that can add up fast and then show them your parent’s income. This is how people look at problems. To sit down and say, I need help is not enough —  show them, the needs, the time,and the money needed — that is what will shake them into understanding the problem.
  3. Tell them your options, you have now done your home work so show them the different ways that care can be given and afforded. Then ask for their support, not their help. If they have not helped in the past, they will not help now. But ask them to support you with additional money each month, even if they give you $35 a month that could buy the Ensure that your parents drink everyday, or the Depends they use, or help with a bath lady each week. Every small amount is appreciated and the commitment has to be long term. The bath lady has to be paid each week if they give the money or not. Make decisions on reality not promises.
  4. If the house is going to be sold to pay for your parents care, then you ask the family to help you ready it for sale. You may not be able to remodel or update, but you can clean. Just take one room at a time, clean out closets, give things to family and good will, do not put yourself through big yard sales, they are to hard on you. Giving time and care is overwhelming, do it with thought about your own health.
  5. Paint as many rooms as you can to give it a low key color update. Use colors that are popular in your area. Update little things like lite fixtures in the bathroom and new faucets in the kitchen. Use the inexpensive vinyl tiles that you can easily put down over old vinyl floors, remove carpets if the house has wood floors and polish the floors. If you plan your actions over the next two months with help from your brothers on room by room, the house will look fresh and clean and update the yard to make it have nothing junky outside and just a clean lawn and some bark on the flower beds. Then you will be able to get the most for the house without remodel prices.
  6. You will need to keep your parents calm while you are doing this so if the project is big ask a brother to take one or both of your parents for a weekend so you can do the work without them worrying over it all.
  7. If you are not going to sell the home right away, still do as much of work as you can as you go along. The day of selling the home will be close in the future and work has to be done now or then.
  8. You will need to call an in home health care service. They have trained nurses, PT, OT, nutrition and bath ladies. They also handle the care giving with light housekeeping, cooking and tending care givers. All trained, bonded and ready to help you with chores for your parents. What you can not do, they fill in. This is easiest way to get help. You can add a few hours a week at first, a bath lady is my favorite pick and then increase as the need and finances are there for extra help. They are also ready to be your back up if you are unwell and unable to attend to your parents needs. They will come to your home and do a review and then you set up a plan of needs.
  9. If you choose to directly hire someone to cover for you each day, make sure you do a background check and call the references, you want a quality person to care for people you love. Horror stories can be avoided with doing a good check on the person’s prior job abilities and people skills. No smoking, drinking or drugs are allowed by any care giver so let them know that from the get go. Ask your Tax Person how to make the payment to the person you hire on your own. A service takes care of all taxes and pays your caregiver for you. I you hire a person on your own, payment for the person is up to you. Remember to ask if the care givers are a tax deduction for your parent’s taxes too. Remember if your parent or parents are in your home, they can be your own tax deduction for their care.

Now, I have a workbook that was designed for family members to read and use if they have never had any training in caring for a seniors. You will find my book under Products page of my website www.caregivingwithspirit.com. Its called Care Giving 101 Workbook and you can download it as an E-book or as a printed workbook sent to you via mail. That will detail the basic care giving needs and how to handle them for you as time goes on. I have both health and Alzheimer’s tips in the workbook. Its been a great help for many who are facing giving care to parents and or spouses.

Hope this all helped you – you can find me on Twitter @seniorcaretips and this wordpress site has many older blog entries that you will find helpful as you add giving care to an already busy life with your own family and job. I also have a talk radio site that is fun to give a listen – its an easy click from my website…thank you for your time and blessings on your giving care.

Please do send me emails if you have a question on care, I am happy to help. francy