Feb 22, 2021
Residents at a care home in Sevenoaks welcomed a special guest for a trip down memory lane.
Care UK’s Weald Heights, on Bourchier Close, 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 as a sensory tool to encourage reminiscence in older people.
As part of the event the home’s talented chef, Stuart Jackson, 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. Residents also enjoyed discussing their favourite memories associated with the food.
Weald Heights also hosted a 1960s-themed party as part of their celebrations complete with food from that era, including pineapple upside down cake. To get everyone into the spirit of the era, the party featured a 1960s playlist that got everyone’s feet tapping, as well as a quiz to test their knowledge about the decade.
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.
Maria Covington, Home Manager at Weald Heights, added: “We loved meeting Dr Polly virtually, and taking part in the sensory reminiscence activity.
“Here at Weald Heights, 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.”
Weald Heights has been designed to provide residential, nursing and specialist dementia care, as well as respite, end of life and palliative care. The ethos at Weald Heights is based on person-centred care, which means residents’ values are right at the heart of the home. Choice, variety and luxury are built into every aspect of life at the home, which offers a combination of professional, individualised care and luxury hotel-style comfort.
For more information on Weald Heights, please call Customer Relations Manager, Amelia Moore, on 01732 809 189, 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 on nutrition for older people, download our guide to ‘Eating as we age’ here: careuk.com/care-homes/helpful-guides/eating-as-we-age-guide
Bourchier Close, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1PD
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