Residents at a care home in Horsham welcomed a special guest for a trip down memory lane.
Care UK’s Skylark House, on St Marks Lane, were joined virtually by BBC food historian, Dr Polly Russell, from Back in Time for… for a live interactive food tasting session designed to transport residents back to their younger years.
Partnering with Care UK for the Food for Thought initiative, which sees care homes across the country celebrate their favourite foods throughout the decades, Dr Polly has worked alongside Care UK chefs to create a unique reminiscence tasting menu. The menu features iconic foods from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s and is designed to be used a sensory tool to encourage reminiscence in older people.
As part of the event, the home’s talented chef, Shaun Pattenden, prepared an array of bitesize delights from the menu, including kedgeree, prawn cocktail and black forest gateau, for residents to enjoy while Dr Polly talked through each dish’s history and encouraged residents to share their associated memories with her and each other.
Dr Polly said: “I was delighted to partner with Care UK to create a reminiscence tasting menu, and I had a fantastic time chatting to residents about some of their favourite foods throughout the ages.
“There really is something incredibly special about the way food can evoke memories and emotions, and it was wonderful to see how everyone’s faces light up when they tried each dish. Just one flavour or smell can prompt a different memory and emotion for each individual, which is why a session like this can be so powerful.
Dorota Woloszyn, Home Manager at Skylark House, added: “We loved meeting Dr Polly virtually, and taking part in the sensory reminiscence activity.
“Here at Skylark House, we believe in the power of activity-based care, and we’re always looking for new and exciting experiences to promote wellbeing. Reminiscence activities can be extremely beneficial for older people, particularly those living with dementia, as long-term memory typically remains stronger than the short-term. Drawing on strong memories helps to boost confidence and provides an opportunity to re-live happy times, which can prompt conversation and evoke the associated emotions.
“Everyone had a great time dining through the decades and it was wonderful to hear residents share their memories during the session.”
Skylark House has been designed to deliver the very best standards of care and to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives. The home provides full-time residential, nursing and dementia care, as well as short-term respite and palliative care.
For more information on Skylark House, please call Customer Relations Manager, Beverly Jordan, on 01403 887 578 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