Dining through the decades – Suffolk care homes take a trip down memory lane

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Residents at two care homes in Suffolk have taken a trip down memory lane as part of a nationwide initiative to rediscover their favourite foods from the past.

Dining through the decades – Suffolk care homes take a trip down memory laneCare UK’s Mildenhall Lodge, on St John’s Close, hosted a reminiscence session, complete with fancy dress and food inspired by the era as part of their 1970s themed celebrations which aimed to rediscover residents favourite foods throughout the decades.

Team members also took the opportunity to find out resident’s favourite dishes from childhood, and discovered toad in the hole, rice pudding and fish and chips were firm favourites across the board.

Davers Court, on Shakers Lane, also took part in the celebrations, enjoying a virtual session hosted by BBC food historian, Dr Polly Russell, from Back in Time for… designed to transport residents back to their younger days.

Davers Court’s talented chef, Debbie Moran, prepared a special afternoon tea, including traditional sandwiches, a Victoria sponge and macaroons, 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.Dining through the decades – Suffolk care homes take a trip down memory lane

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.

Katy Hughes, Home Manager at Mildenhall Lodge, 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.

Sally Shadbolt, Home Manager at Davers Court, added: “Residents had a fantastic time learning about this history of the afternoon tea, and trying each sweet treat as they learnt more about where it came from. Everyone had a wonderful time chatting about their favourite foods, and it was wonderful to hear about everyone’s fond memories of baking Victoria sandwiches and home cooking.”

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.”

Mildenhall Lodge and Davers Court are modern care homes which provide full-time residential and dementia care, as well as short-term respite care. Designed to enable residents to live enjoyable and fulfilling lives, the care homes have their very own cafés and hair salons, and there is plenty of space, both indoors and out, for relaxation and recreation.

To find out more about Davers Court, please call Customer Relations Manager, Chantal Sencier, on 01284 844640 or email Chantal.sencier@careuk.com

For more information on Mildenhall Lodge, please call Customer Relations Manager, Julie Dennis, on 01638 779190 or email julie.dennis@careuk.com  

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

Open to new residents

Shakers Lane, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP32 7BN

Davers Court

Davers Court

CQC Rating: Outstanding
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Day club
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
Open to new residents

St John’s Close, Mildenhall, Suffolk, IP28 7NX

Mildenhall Lodge

Mildenhall Lodge

CQC Rating: Outstanding
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Day club

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