Benefits of baking for older people
With National Baking Week in full swing, we're delving a little deeper into the benefits of baking for older people and sharing a few recipes for you to try at home.
We all love our cakes and bakes, especially when served with a nice hot drink. Studies by Waitrose show that more than half of the population spent more time with their ovens this year, which is no surprise given we were all at home for the most of it. But why? Well it is fun! But there are so many other benefits, especially for older people.
Here are some of the amazing benefits of baking to inspire you:
Relax and unwind... baking can be every calming, which can greatly help to aid relaxation and reduce stress. Movements such as kneading bread have been shown to reduce levels of anxiety, help prevent and manage depression.
Many of us lose our appetite for certain foods with old age. Baking stimulates the senses, meaning it can be an effective tool for encouraging older people to enjoy their food more and try new things. The feel of the flour, the smell of bakes, watching the frosting go on; all help to stimulate the senses and build up a healthy appetite.
Food can bring back memories of celebration and familiarity, whether it’s memories of cooking with, or for loved ones, the smell of a fresh cake or some traditional strawberry tarts. There is something that will trigger these memories for everyone.
Previous studies have shown a definite link between creative expression and wellbeing. Most baking also involves decorating, which allows you to express yourself, which in turn calms the mind and improves mood.
You are able to choose exactly what is going into your body. Baking ourselves allows us to decide how much sugar goes into our food, which type of egg (free range, for example), avoid any preservatives and ensure we are eating fresh.
Everyday activities like baking are beneficial for older people living with dementia, as it is both stimulating and calming. Baking can help to bring back memories, stimulate the senses, improve appetite (which can encourage a better relationship with food) and it's great for keeping the brain active, as it involves weighing and measuring.
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