Dementia and Baking

Apart from baking, I have a big passion for Social Work. I am a Qualified Social Worker, (see the section “About Me” in my blog), and I am genuine interested in Elderly People’s health and wellbeing. For a while ago, I read an interesting article about people with dementia and baking. According to a review published in The Cochrane Library, for instance baking could help stimulate dementia patients memory and thinking.

I find it very interesting, because most people associated dementia with impairment. However, I don’t deny that dementia is a sort of impairment, but at the same time it is important to highlight a person’s resources to increase him/hers well-being and quality of life.

The results showed, that those patients who had received stimulating activities such as baking, scored much higher on the tests who would rate their memory and thought processes. Another important aspect I want to stress is that people who work with these patients should respect them as persons and don’t degrade them to do activities whom are dedicated children.

To help a person with dementia to get more empowerment in life I suggest that you make it clear where he/she can find the things in the kitchen, use for instance pictures to show the person where the items are, so you don’t have to go and get all the things for the elderly person. Do not forget that you can’t leave a person with dementia alone when he/she is using for instance the cooker. They might forget to turn it off after it has been used and it can cause a fire.

Why is this information important for all of us? According to the gerontologists, the prevalence of dementia illness has increased from the late twentieth century and the population gets older and older. It is also a challenge to provide good environments, from a theoretical and practical perspective, for older people with dementia. Therefore, baking, could probably be a good thing for the convenience of staff and patients. Who doesn’t love the scent of fresh and newly baked cakes in a warm and heart friendly environment? 

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2 thoughts on “Dementia and Baking

  1. Do you have any recipe suggests for baking with dementia patients in care? I’m an activities coordinator and I’ve done a lot of baking with them but its often chocolatey stuff and would like some healthier options or just some new ideas!

    If you have any suggestions that would be great!

    Thanks!

    • Hi Leonnie,

      When I did activities for people with dementia we baked typical british stuff like shortbread, welsh cakes, fruit salad, muffins etc. Not so healthy options (apart from the fruit salad). Hope this will help you a bit. It’s always easier to get some help from work colleagues when you bake with the residents.

      Maria

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