Fewer meals and smaller portions are common with advancing age. A shift in eating Patterns and preferences does more than change diets, it decreases social activity. Meal preparation is an exceptional way for Seniors with dementia to stimulate their brain activity. Cooking, baking, and serving involves more than one skill, all of which are important for mental acuity.
Stimulates the Senses
Sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch are the five basic senses often taken for granted, but with dementia, a loss of basic senses presents a challenge. The multitasking activities of cooking and baking fully engage every sense. Tactile activities allow participants to experience a variety of textures…. smooth, granular, or liquid. Hand-eye coordination improves when stirring, kneading, and portioning. Sounds of mixers, soups boiling; aromas of fried chicken, angel food cake…these are all a part of stimulating the senses. Do not forget taste…the favorite of all.
Sense is a strong connection to memory. Familiar sights, sounds, and smells are pleasurable and have been known to decrease stress. The recurring smells and flavors of a favorite meal being prepared is therapeutic. Moods are elevated further when preparing a meal with family and friends.
Include a favorite of your loved one when selecting food to cook. Bake a favorite family recipe for bread or a batch of cookies. Involve the younger members of the family and pass down family traditions.
Food cooked in the home or community where the Senior lives helps arouse appetites. Imagine cinnamon rolls in the oven and coffee on the stove. Who could resist? Maintaining proper nutrition fights depression and improves cognition. Who could resist the smell of cinnamon rolls in the oven or popcorn on the stove at any age?
Meals are a social activity natural to everyone. Conversations, laughter, passing food, and learning about the people at the table keeps minds and bodies alert. Seniors may have fond memories of big family meals and recreating these brings everyone together. Seniors could find mealtime a bit lonely but when a part of preparing and enjoying meals with others, involvement and interaction change the outlook. Connect. Turn the television off. Mealtime is everyone’s opportunity to learn the value of family and friends.
Cooking is a fun and exciting activity for all… especially for Seniors with dementia. Bridge to Better Living will help find a perfect home for you or a loved one. Bridge to Better Living focuses on the client’s needs and wants. They are experts at finding the most appropriate Retirement Living Option on the “menu.” Contact Bridge to Better Living today and experience their no cost to client service.