Residents of two local care homes, run by Care UK, have enjoyed delicious meals which took them back in time.
Ferndown Manor hosted a 1960s inspired dinner party which featured a buffet-style lunch with prawn cocktail, Coronation chicken and poached salmon followed by Baked Alaska. They also enjoyed a tea dance with tunes from the swinging sixties that got everyone’s feet tapping and a quiz to test residents’ knowledge of the era.
Residents and team members at The Potteries in Poole chose to take a step even further back to the 1950s. Their special celebration included foods homemade Spam on crackers, pineapple upside-down cake and fruit kebabs, as well as residents’ favourite songs from the time.
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.
Jan Cresdee, home manager at Ferndown Manor, 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.”
Zita Turner, home manager at The Potteries, said: “It was fantastic to hear about everyone’s fond memories of the 1950s and 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. 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.
Dr Polly said: “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.”
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