Dining through the decades – Hailsham care home takes a trip down memory lane

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

Care UK’s Bowes House, on Battle Road, hosted a 1960s lunch which aimed to rediscover residents favourite foods from the era. The specially crafted buffet was made by the home’s talented chef, Marc Beckett, and included a selection of some of the residents’ favourite nibbles, such as cheese and pineapple on sticks, pork pies and scotch eggs.

Dining through the decades – Hailsham care home takes a trip down memory laneThe party was complete with a 60s playlist which got everyone’s feet tapping and a quiz to test the resident’s knowledge about the decade.

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.

Ryan Harris, Home Manager at Bowes House, 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.

“Everyone had a wonderful time chatting about their favourite foods, and it was wonderful to hear about everyone’s fond memories of the 1960s.”

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.”

Bowes 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. Designed to enable residents to live enjoyable and fulfilling lives, the care home has it very own café, cinema and hair salon, and there is plenty of space, both indoors and out, for relaxation and recreation. The home has a comprehensive activity programme, offering a mix of themed events and group activities.

For further information on Bowes House, please call Customer Relations Manager, Karen Milligan, on 01323 888 611 or email karen.milligan@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

If you’re looking for more information about nutrition for older people, download our guide to ‘Eating as we age’ here: careuk.com/eating-as-we-age-guide

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