3 Ideas for Creative Alzheimer’s Activities Utilizing Food

3 Ideas for Creative Alzheimer’s Activities Utilizing Food

If there’s one thing that connects us all, it’s food! Think about how many precious memories have been made over the years that included food at the center of them all: holiday meals, birthday parties, wedding celebrations. Even ordinary days involve routines that become ingrained in us around food, from that first aromatic cup of coffee in the morning to a shared bowl of buttery popcorn with family while watching a show on the television. It’s only natural that some of the most effective and creative Alzheimer’s activities are centered on food.

Food-related activities are a great way to connect with someone with dementia, while engaging all of the senses. Here are some activities you can try to help spark memories and create new ones.

  • Decorating. Frost cupcakes while reminiscing about the treats Mom would prepare for school birthday parties. Roll out cookie dough and use cookie cutters and sprinkles to make them specific to an upcoming holiday as you discuss holidays past.
  • Preparing. Decide on a simple recipe to prepare, such as fruit salad or sandwiches. Gather together the ingredients and incorporate them into your conversation. While washing and cutting up fruit, for instance, ask the senior what kinds of fruits they enjoyed as a child.
  • Storytelling. Pull out an old cookbook and look through the recipes together to see if any spark memories. The senior may recall food rationing during wartime, or the time they tried a new recipe early in their marriage that was a complete disaster. If a particular recipe is of interest, make it together!

Think about how to incorporate each of the senses into mealtimes. There’s so much more to food than taste! Point out the delicious scent of the chicken you’re roasting for dinner, the sizzling sound of bacon frying, the cool smoothness of bread dough being kneaded. Try to make each plate served appetizing to the eyes as well as the palate. And whenever possible, foster discussions that link the person to past memories.

In many cases, someone with dementia will experience a diminished appetite and lose interest in food. Activities such as these can be a great way to restore the joy we experience together through shared meals and treats.

Our dementia care experts have lots more tips to make life the best it can be for someone with dementia. Contact Amy’s Helping Hands, the leading provider of home care services in Windsor, Ontario and the surrounding areas, at 519-915-4370 to request dementia care resources or to learn more about our customized in-home care services.