Get Cooking With These Creative Dementia Care Activities

Get Cooking With These Creative Dementia Care Activities

If there’s one thing that connects us all, it’s food! Think about how many cherished memories have been made through the years that included food at the center of them all: holiday meals, birthday parties, wedding celebrations. Even ordinary days include routines that become ingrained in us around food, from that first aromatic cup of coffee in the morning to a shared bowl of buttery popcorn with family while watching a show on television.

It really is no surprise that food is not just a necessity for our physical health, but often a powerful way to connect with someone with dementia. Here are several creative dementia care activities you can try to help spark memories while engaging all the senses through food.

  • Storytelling. Pull out an old cookbook and look through the recipes together to determine if any spark memories. The person may recall food rationing during wartime, or perhaps the time they tried a new recipe early in their marriage that was a total disaster. If a specific recipe is of interest, make it together!
  • Preparing. Decide on a straightforward recipe to prepare, such as sandwiches or fruit salad. Gather together the ingredients and incorporate them into your conversation. While washing and cutting up fruit, for instance, ask the older adult what kinds of fruits they enjoyed as a young child.
  • Decorating. Frost cupcakes while reminiscing about the treats Mom would prepare for school birthday parties. Roll out cookie dough and use cookie cutters and sprinkles to make them specific to an upcoming holiday while you discuss holidays past.

Think about how to incorporate each one of the senses into mealtimes. There is much more to food than taste! Point out the delicious scent associated with the chicken you are roasting for dinner, the sizzling sound of eggs frying, the cool smoothness of bread dough being kneaded. Attempt to make each plate served appetizing to the eyes as well as the palate. And as much as possible, foster conversations that link the person to memories from the past.

Quite often, a person with Alzheimer’s will encounter a diminished appetite and lose interest in food. Activities such as these can be a wonderful way to revive the joy we experience together through shared meals and treats.

Our dementia caregivers have many more ideas for creative dementia care activities to make life the best it can be for someone you love. Reach out to Hired Hands Homecare any time either online  or by calling (866) 940-4343  to request Alzheimer’s care resources or to learn more about our personalized home care services. In Novato, Petaluma, Napa, and throughout the Bay Area.

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