Residents at a care home in Stansted welcomed a special guest for a trip down memory lane.
Care UK’s Mountfitchet House, on Coltsfield, enjoyed a virtual session hosted by BBC food historian, Dr Polly Russell, from Back in Time for… as part of a nationwide initiative designed to transport residents back to their younger days.
Mountfitchet House’s talented chef, Aidan Kelly, prepared a special afternoon tea, including traditional sandwiches, Victoria sponge and pastries, for residents to enjoy while Dr Polly took them through each treat, it’s delicious history and residents were encouraged to share their associated memories.
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.
In addition to hosting a session on the history of the afternoon tea, Dr Polly has worked alongside Care UK chefs to create a nostalgic tasting menu as part of the project, which features iconic foods from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s and is designed to be used as a sensory tool to encourage reminiscence in older people.
Dr Polly said: “I was delighted to partner with Care UK to create a reminiscence tasting menu, and I had a fantastic time hosting a talk about the history of the afternoon tea.
“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 a session like this can be so powerful.”
Jane Maxwell, Home Manager at Mountfitchet House, added: “Here at Mountfitchet House, we love taking some time out of the day to have a chat and enjoy a slice of cake.
“Residents had a fantastic time learning about the history of the afternoon tea, which has been a quintessential English custom for many years. Reminiscence can be incredibly beneficial for older people, and interactive activities like this can provide an opportunity to re-live happy times.
“We had a wonderful time listening to Polly while enjoying our own afternoon tea. It certainly provided some ‘food for thought’ and it was brilliant to see how people’s faces lit up as they reminisced and shared their own memories throughout the session.”
Mountfitchet House is a state-of-the-art care home which provides full-time residential, nursing and dementia care, as well as short-term respite care.
For more information on Mountfitchet House, please call Customer Relations Manager, Laura Cook, on 01279 883849, 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