Meet Me in the Kitchen: The Therapeutic Benefits of Cooking for Seniors with DementiaJuly 29, 2019
"Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious." -Ruth Reichl
Memory disorders such as Alzheimer's can cause some level of social withdrawal or disengagement. How can we help reverse this trend, bringing back all the joy and passion? Planning fun and engaging activities can make a world of difference. Just check out a few of our favorite activities here!
Cooking for Seniors with Dementia
How does cooking help engage seniors with Alzheimer's? Let's highlight a few ways that cooking-related activities can help to soothe the anxiety or frustration that often accompanies dementia-related illnesses:
Cooking activates the senses.
Touch, smell, sight, and taste: cooking activates it all! When baking a cake, for example, we can be brought into the moment as we put our hands through the cool soft dough. As the cake is baking in the oven, we can enjoy the delicious sweet aromas. Pull the cake out of the oven, and we can decorate it however we want, activating the visual senses and sparking creativity! And of course, let's not forget the best part: tasting the delicious cake we've just created!
Triggers happy memories.
Not only does cooking make our taste buds happy, but it also triggers positive memories of sharing and preparing meals with loved ones. The very smell of something delicious baking in the oven can trigger happy memories of cooking with family, a warm sense of home.
Encourages social bonding and self-expression.
When cooking, seniors with Alzheimer's can have fun preparing a delectable meal while benefiting from the help and support of their loved ones. Since there is nothing quite like the love of food, it's easy to bond with others over the deliciousness of a meal or dessert. The act of creating something delicious and beautiful provides seniors with a fun and social outlet for self-expression.
Learn more about life at Blue Harbor and get ideas for different activities designed for seniors with memory loss. Also, you may find our communications tips for caregivers helpful, too. If you'd like to visit one of our communities and or experience our senior living activities firsthand, feel free to connect with our True Blue team; we'd love to meet you!
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