Residents at a care home in Stowmarket have taken a trip down memory lane as part of a nationwide initiative to rediscover their favourite foods from the past.
Care UK’s Cedrus House, on Bittern Crescent, took part in a food-themed reminiscence session as part of their era-themed celebrations which aimed to rediscover residents’ favourite foods throughout the decades.
Sitting down with each resident to discover their favourite foods and their associated memories, the lifestyle team then worked with the home’s head chef, Ian Hetzel, to create a sensory tasting session. Resident favourites included garlic bread, seafood and a roast dinner.
The ‘Food for Thought’ initiative sees Care UK homes across the country take part in activities which encourage memory sharing and the use of food as a tool for reminiscence.
Michelle Webster, Home Manager at Cedrus House, said: “We had a wonderful time dining through the decades and reminiscing about our favourite foods from the past.
“Reminiscence activities have many positive effects for older people, particularly those living with dementia. Re-connecting with the past can improve mood, encourage communication and provide a topic and stimulus for residents to engage with.
“Everyone had a wonderful time chatting about their favourite foods, and it was wonderful to hear about everyone’s favourite food and the associated memories.”
As part of the project, Care UK has also teamed up with BBC’s Back in Time for… presenter and historian, Dr Polly Russell, to create a special tasting menu for residents to enjoy. Designed to be used as a sensory tool to encourage reminiscence in older people, the menu features iconic foods from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, and has been used as part of an interactive storytelling session, hosted by Dr Polly, to encourage reminiscence.
Dr Polly commented: “I am delighted to have partnered with Care UK for this project. There really is something incredibly special about the way food can evoke memories and emotions. Just one flavour or smell can prompt a different memory and emotion for each individual, which is why food can be such a powerful tool for memory recall.”
Cedrus House is a modern care home which provides full-time residential, nursing and dementia care, as well as short-term respite care. Designed to enable its residents to live enjoyable and fulfilling lives, the care home has its very own cinema and hair salon, and there is plenty of space both in and outdoors for relaxation and recreation.
To find out more about Cedrus House, please contact Senior Customer Relations Manager, Angela Hodge, on 01449 797350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about Care UK’s partnership with Dr Polly Russell, and for more top tips on how you and your loved ones can get involved at home, visit careuk.com/food-for-thought
If you’re looking for more information about nutrition for older people, download our guide to ‘Eating as we age’ here: careuk.com/care-homes/eating-as-we-age