Celebrate the Summer Solstice with Your Senior Parent- ANAHEIM HILLS


Celebrate the Summer Solstice with Your Senior Parent- ANAHEIM HILLS

This year’s Summer Solstice occurs on Thursday, June 21, 2018 – the first day of summer for the Northern Hemisphere. The Summer Solstice officially welcomes the long, hot days of the Inland Empire’s summer season. This Thursday, take advantage of the longest day of summer and spend some quality time with your senior parent with a Summer Solstice soirée. We at SYNERGY HomeCare Corona, Riverside, and Anaheim Hills have a few ideas to help you welcome summer with your loved ones this June.

Host and Evening BBQ for Your Senior Parent

If your aging parent lives alone – or even in an assisted living community – invite them over to visit with family members, eat a delicious meal, and spend time reminiscing on a sun-kissed patio. You can host a planned menu – and even a fun cocktail or beverage – to ring in the Summer Solstice with your loved ones. Here are a few healthy BBQ recipes for your menu, provided by the nutrition experts at Mayo Clinic:

Grilled turkey burger (serves 4):

  • 1 pound ground turkey breast

  • 1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco (hot) sauce
  • 4 whole-grain buns
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 4 slices red onion
  • 2 lettuce leaves, halved
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup

Directions: Combine the ground turkey breast, bread crumbs, chopped onion, parsley, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce in a large bowl. Mix well. Divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions and form into patties. Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or broiler. Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4-6 inches from the heat source. Grill burgers until nicely browned on both sides and heated through, about 7 minutes a side. Serve each burger on a bun topped with 1 tomato slice, 1 onion slice, 1/2 lettuce leaf, and a dollop of ketchup.

Classic Boston baked beans (serves 12):

  • 2 cups dried small, white beans (navy beans), picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight and drained

  • 4 cups water

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup light molasses

  • 1 ½ tablespoons dry mustard

  • 3 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Directions: In a large, ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid, or in a Dutch oven, combine the beans, water, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer until the beans have softened but are still firm, 65-75 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Don’t drain the beans. Heat oven to 350 F. Stir the onion, molasses, mustard, bacon, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt into the beans. Cover and bake until the beans are tender and coated with a light syrup, 4 ½ - 5 hours. Check periodically to make sure the beans don’t dry out, stirring and adding hot water as needed.

Yellow pear and cherry tomato salad (serves 6):

  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 ½ cups yellow pear tomatoes, halved

  • 1 ½ cups orange cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 ½ cups red cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 4 large fresh basil leaves, cut into slender ribbons

Directions: To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, combine the vinegar and shallot and let stand for 15 minutes. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper and whisk until well blended. In a large serving or salad bowl, toss together all the tomatoes. Pour the vinaigrette over the tomatoes, add the basil shreds and toss gently to mix well and coat evenly. Serve immediately.

Minty-lime iced tea (serves 1):

  • 1 cup freshly brewed unsweetened tea, cooled

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice concentrate

  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, plus 1 sprig for garnish

  • 5 -6 ice cubes

  • Sugar substitute, to taste

Directions: In a blender, combine the tea, lime juice, mint leaves, and ice cubes. Blend until smooth and frothy. Add sugar substitute for desired sweetness. Pour into a tall chilled glass and garnish with a mint sprig.

Beef and vegetable kebabs (serves 2):

  • 1/2 cup brown rice

  • 2 cups water

  • 4 ounces top sirloin (choice)

  • 4 tablespoons fat-free Italian dressing

  • 1 green pepper, seeded and cut into 4 pieces

  • 4 cherry tomatoes

  • 1 small onion, cut into 4 wedges

  • 2 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes, or metal skewers

Directions: In a saucepan over high heat, combine the rice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 30-45 minutes. Add more water if necessary to keep the rice from drying out. Transfer to a small bowl to keep warm. Cut the meat into 4 equal portions. Put the meat in a small bowl and pour Italian dressing over the top. Put in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to marinate, turning as needed. Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or a broiler. Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4-6 inches from the heat source. Thread 2 cubes of meat, 2 green pepper pieces, 2 cherry tomatoes, and 2 onion wedges onto each skewer. Place the kebabs on the grill rack or broiler pan. Grill or broil the kebabs for about 5-10 minutes, turning as needed. Divide the rice onto individual plates. Top with 1 kebab and serve immediately.

English cucumber salad with balsamic vinaigrette (serves 4):

  • 1 English cucumber with peel (8-9 inches in length), washed and thinly sliced

  • Cracked black pepper, to taste

  • For the dressing:

    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

    • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Directions: In a small saucepan, add the rosemary, vinegar and olive oil. Heat over very low heat to blend and intensify the flavors, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the mustard until well blended. In a serving bowl, add the cucumber slices. Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and toss to coat evenly. Add the black pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cranberry spritzer (serves 10):

  • 1-quart reduced-calorie cranberry juice

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1-quart carbonated water

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1 cup raspberry sherbet

  • 10 lemon or lime wedges

Directions: Refrigerate the cranberry juice, lemon juice, and carbonated water until cold. In a large pitcher, mix together the cranberry juice, lemon juice, carbonated water, sugar, and sherbet. Pour into tall chilled glasses and garnish with a lemon or lime wedge. Serve immediately.

Quench Your Senior Parent’s Green Thumb by Planting a Summer Garden

Gardening is a healthy, stimulating physical and mental activity for seniors. Spend time with your senior parent this summer by helping them plant a small garden at their home. Gardening is an enjoyable activity for seniors because it:

  •         Acts as a beneficial and low-impact form of exercise.
  •         Promotes mobility and flexibility.
  •         Help prevent diseases like osteoporosis.
  •         Reduces stress levels and promotes relaxation.
  •         Provides nutritious, home-grown produce.

Keep in mind that your senior parent may need assistance with gardening, as physical, mental, and age-related conditions may prevent them from gardening safely. Make sure you begin gardening in the early morning to help your aging parent avoid heat stroke. Also, help your senior parent avoid skin irritation and burns by suggesting that they wear sunscreen. If you’re ready to get growing, add these seasonal vegetables to your garden planting list: basil, beans, beets, carrots, chard, lettuce, mustard greens, oregano, pumpkins, and squash.

Head to the Farmers Market

Summer heralds the prime season for a number of delicious, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Seek out your local farmers market and invite your senior parent to stroll through the vendors and enjoy the local fare. Spending time with your aging loved one is key to your senior parent’s health and wellness, as social stimulation and family activity help combat depression and loneliness. Here are a few farmers markets to frequent with your senior parent this summer:

Old town Temecula

Sixth & Front St., Old Town Temecula

Every Saturday from 8:30am - 12:30pm


Promenade Temecula

40640 Winchester Rd. (Outside JC Penny), Temecula

Every Wednesday from 9 am - 1 pm


Vail HQ Temecula

Vail Headquarters, 32115 Temecula Parkway, Temecula

Every Tuesday from 9 am - 1 pm



Village Walk Plaza, Off Kalmia/Cal Oaks, Temecula

Every Sunday from 9 am - 1 pm



6th and South Main St., Corona

Every Saturday from 8:30am - 12:30pm


Corona Certified Farmer's Market

488 N. Main St., Corona

Every Saturday from 8:30am - 12:30pm


Downtown Farmers Market

Main Street between 5th and 6th streets, Riverside

Every Saturday from 8 am - 1 pm


Galleria at Tyler Farmers Market

Galleria at Tyler in the parking lot of Barnes and Noble, 1299 Galleria at Tyler, Riverside

Every Sunday from 8:30am - 12:30pm


Kaiser Permanente Farmers Market

Riverside Medical Center, 10800 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside

Every Friday from 10am - 2pm


Orangecrest Certified Farmers Market

Orange Terrace Community Center, 20010 Orange Terrace Parkway, Riverside

Every Sunday from 9 am - 1 pm


Riverside Certified Farmers Market

Sear’s parking lot, 5261 Arlington Avenue, Riverside

Every Friday from 8 am - 12 pm


About SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills
SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills is the name you can trust in Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Yorba Linda, Tustin, Santa Ana, Orange and Placentia for personal home care. SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills is part of a national franchise of non-medical home care offices dedicated to providing exceptional and affordable service to anyone of any age.  SYNERGY HomeCare caregivers are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, to those in need - including seniors, expectant moms, those suffering from sports injuries and debilitating illnesses, and more.  SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona & Riverside can be found online at http://www.synergyhomecare.com/agencies/ca/anaheim-hills/ca25. The location also hosts active social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Ken and Anna can be reached at 714- 706-1613 and [email protected].

Gabriel Irvin

Gabby Irvin received her master’s degree in news-editorial journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She enjoys writing weekly blog posts for Synergy HomeCare, as it allows her to blend her passion for writing and interest in health care. She is currently pursuing a degree in nursing.

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