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Sutton Coldfield care home dines through the decades with special guest

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Residents at a care home in Sutton Coldfield welcomed a special guest for a trip down memory lane.

Care UK’s Mercia Grange, on Lichfield Road, 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.

Sutton Coldfield care home dines through the decades with special guestPartnering 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, Keith Wyatt, prepared a host of bitesize delights from the menu, including kedgeree, prawn cocktail and black forest gateau, for residents to enjoy. They were also encouraged to share their memories with Dr Polly as she talked through the history of each dish.

Keith also prepared a special afternoon tea, including traditional sandwiches, 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.

Getting into the spirit, Mercia Grange hosted a ‘groovy’ lunch as part of their 1960s era-themed celebrations too, featuring prawn cocktails, spam fritters, chicken ‘a la King’ and trifle. The team also played classic songs from that era and residents donned their best 1960s hairstyles while remembering their youngers years.  

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.

Thomas Bampfield, Home Manager at Mercia Grange, added: “We loved meeting Dr Polly virtually, and taking part in the sensory reminiscence activity.

“Here at Mercia Grange, 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.”

Mercia Grange is a state-of-the-art care home which provides full-time residential, nursing, dementia, and short-term respite care. The three-storey care home, which features 67 ensuite bedrooms, has been designed to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence. The care home incorporates space for hobby and leisure activities and includes its own cinema, hair salon and café.

To find out more about Mercia Grange, please call Customer Relations Manager, Aleksandra Luczynska, on 0121 314 3196, or email Aleksandra.Luczynska@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

538 Lichfield Road, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B74 4EH

Mercia Grange

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

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