A young woman engages in an activity for someone with dementia, rolling out biscuit dough.

The Activity for Someone With Dementia You’ll Want to Try Today

There is something so special about the kitchen. It’s the first stop kids make when they arrive home from school, in search of a snack and the opportunity to share about their day. It is the spot family members gather to prepare holiday meals together. It’s also a place to warm up a cup of milk and find some quiet, reflective solace when sleep is elusive. And, it provides the perfect setting for a wonderful activity for someone with dementia.

For a person with dementia, the kitchen can bring to mind precious memories. Cooking engages all of our senses, making it an ideal activity to unlock the doors of reminiscence. The rhythmic chopping of vegetables, the sizzle of ingredients in a pan, and the tantalizing fragrance of a well-seasoned dish can stir great memories, sparking joy and connection.

If you want to add culinary techniques to your dementia care toolbox, these tips can help.

  • Keep it simple. Use uncomplicated recipes with familiar ingredients to promote a sense of accomplishment. If the person has a box of recipes or favorite cookbook, this is a fantastic place to begin. Take out several recipe options that would be easy to prepare, and then talk through which ones may spark interest. Or, you can search online for simple recipes based on the person’s particular tastes.
  • Make it personal. Consider the capabilities and preferences of the individual. Activities like kneading dough, rolling out cookies, or tossing a salad can be confidence-boosting, empowering, and reinforce a feeling of purpose while triggering memories.
  • Stay social. The objective should be to make the activity a time of togetherness, transforming the kitchen into a warm space where stories are exchanged, laughter is shared, and bonds are strengthened.
  • Organize in advance. An organized approach, with ingredients lined up and ready and step-by-step instructions provided, will help ensure a more seamless and enjoyable experience.

The end goal should never be to create a Pinterest-worthy culinary production. Rather, focus on all the senses being used and tap into any memories that may come to the surface.

Perhaps, for instance, you are making an apple pie. You can discuss how smooth the crust feels while you roll it out and the powdery flour that puffs into the air as you sprinkle it over the dough. Point out the sound of the apples being chopped, the delicious cinnamon butter aroma while the pie bakes. And naturally, enjoy a bit of the finished product together, encouraging any stories along the way that the individual wishes to share.

At Home Health Companions, our knowledgeable dementia caregivers are readily available to incorporate culinary experiences into an older adult’s care plan. Contact us at (214) 295-8213 to learn more about our dementia care services in Dallas, Denton, Ellis, and the surrounding areas.