Sunday, December 27, 2009

TTT "The Fudge" Recipe

I came across this recipe on a simply fantastic online community called "The Grocery Game". It's quick, easy and OMGoodness delicious. It's an absolutely wonderful activity you can do with your clients that is fast, easy and delicious. (**inserting shameless plug ... if you decide to join "The Grocery Game" please consider using me as your referral ( . I'll earn credits toward the membership - which btw is extremely inexpensive**.)

For anyone who has made fudge before you know how much painstaking work goes into it. The standing and stirring, stirring, stirring, stirring, stirring, stirring .... you get the idea ... is boring and tedious. "The Fudge" recipe takes me about 7 or 8 minutes from set up to refrigerator. The best thing about this recipe is that it's made from only 3 ingredients!

"The Fudge" Recipe"

Line an 8x8 pan (or 2 - 4 x4 or 3x5 pans) with wax paper or parchment paper. Bring up the sides a bit as well.

In a microwave safe container melt the following on high for a minute and a half (1 1/2 minutes):

1/2 stick of butter
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
3 cups of chocolate chips (1 and 1/2 bags)

Remove and stir.

Melt on high for 1 more minute.

Stir well until glossy and smooth.

Pour into a wax paper lined pan. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or over night and then cut!

Add to your grocery list:

Wax paper or Parchment paper
1 stick of butter
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
2 bags of semi sweet chocolate chips (milk chocolate will not set up firmly)

Organizing Tasks

Taking into consideration your client's level of dementia, you can help them continue to take an active role in keeping up household chores and meaningful tasks.

Most women take pride in the cleanliness and upkeep of their homes where most men take pride in the upkeep of the yard and condition of the garage and cars. This may be a stereotypical thought but I find this to be pretty accurate.

Following this line of thought, you as the caregiver, can help your clients maintain that feeling of pride and value while helping them to continue with an active lifestyle using the abilities, aspirations and skills they have aquired over their lifetime.

This could be acheived with a simple reorganization of tasks using visual cues in the form of an organized check list.

I'm one of the most unorganized people when it comes to doing household chores. I'll start a load of laundry and end up cleaning out my car. On the way I'll start a variety of tasks that I never complete. I admit I continuously lose my focus when doing tasks. To help me, I use the Motivated Mom's household chores list. This tool is a lifesaver for me. I'm not saying I don't stray from the tasks at hand but I'm able to pull my focus back to where they're supposed to be by using the Motivated Mom's organized chores list. Click here to visit the Motivated Moms site.

An individualized list like this would be a valuable tool for your client to help them stay on task while being able to keep track of what they have done through the check-mark system. I just ordered the 2010 Full Page Printable Download. It's only $8 and can be downloaded to your pc. You can print off the pages as you need them or just call them up on your computer and save yourself the ink. It makes my life so much easier and less overwhelming.Click here to view more details.

Obviously your client would need to have a more personalized list that would take into consideration their abilities as well as suit their individual preferences and needs but a tool such as this would aid them in their independence and provide a sense of pride in their accomplishments.

When organizing tasks keep the client's abilities, personal preferences, routines and levels of dementia in mind. For instance I have a client that insists her bed is made the minute she gets up. For her this task would be on the top of her list. She prefers to eat breakfast in her P.J.'s then wash up and change for the day. I have another client who could care less about making her bed and prefers to get dressed for the day before she has breakfast. As I mentioned before, routines are important for the dementia client and these should be taken into consideration.

You'll notice that instead of bullets on the Motivated Mom's lists there are boxes provided for check-marks. When making your lists I would strongly suggest the check boxes as well. The purpose of the check boxes for your client is three-fold. One is to help the client follow through with their chores in a particular order using a visual cue. The second is a visual reminder of the tasks they have already completed. The client is able to go back to the list as a reference. The third supplies a list of completed tasks that the client can see and at the end of the day be very proud of. They'll have a sense of accomplishment which will help increase their self-esteem and feelings of independence and self-worth.

Some days I feel as if I personally haven't accomplished a thing but when I pull out my own personalized checklist at the end of the day and see all those completed tasks I feel a great sense of accomplishment which is very calming to me.

So, try breaking down tasks into an organized daily list and see what happens. The more independent client would need a less detailed list while appreciating the visual reminders and daily orientation to day and date. A brief, partial list could include ....

Monday, December 28, 2009
  • Laundry
  • Dishes
  • Dust Livingroom
  • Sweet Kitchen Floor


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

  • Vacuum Livingroom
  • Strip and Remake Bed
  • Dishes
  • Sweet Kitchen Floor


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

  • Sweep Porch
  • Clean bathroom toilet and sink
  • Dishes
  • Sweet Kitchen Floor


For a client who isn't as independent and has trouble remembering simple daily tasks a partial list could look something like this for example ....

Monday, December 28, 2009

  • Make Bed
  • Wash Face and Hands
  • Brush Teeth
  • Get Dressed
  • Comb Hair
  • Make Breakfast
  • Eat Breakfast
  • Wash Dishes
  • Wipe Down Counters


Clients that need more than visual cues will also need auditory cues from you, the caregiver. Visual along with auditory clues will help these clients be just as successful and therefore promote a sense of value and pride.