As this week (18.10.2016) is National Baking Week, we’re delving a little deeper into the benefits of baking for seniors. (To learn more about National Baking Week search '#NationalBakingWeek' on Twitter...)
There’s no doubt about it, Britain is a cake country. Us Brits love our cakes and bakes, especially when served with a refreshing cup of tea. We don’t just like to eat cake, studies have also shown that nine out of ten of us like to create our own cakes and bakes. From chocolate brownies to treacle tart, the majority of us enjoy nothing more than an afternoon in the kitchen baking.
Believe it or not, baking isn’t just about creating a culinary masterpiece, it’s about relaxing and unwinding. Studies have shown that baking can be an effective form of therapy that can help to aid relaxation and reduce stress. Baking has also been proven to help prevent and manage depression, and help to calm people suffering from dementia.
Many dementia sufferers lose their appetites, meaning that mealtimes can be a struggle. However, studies have shown that baking therapy can be an effective way to help encourage dementia sufferers to eat. Because baking stimulates the sense it can be an effective tool for encouraging dementia sufferers to begin to enjoy food again. The sound of the blender, the feel of the flour, the smell of baking cakes - these experiences help to stimulate the senses.
For seniors that tend to get stressed out and agitated - a common problem for dementia sufferers who are unable to release their stress effectively, baking could be the answer. Because baking is a simple and repetitive activity, it can work in the same way as meditation does, and can be just as effective. There’s something about kneading bread that allows you to effectively alleviate stress and become calmer and happier because of it. Hence why it’s such a great activity for seniors.
Studies have shown a link between creative expression and wellbeing. Because baking and decorating cakes allows you to express yourself, it’s a fantastic activity for seniors. It allows them to expel their stress, calm their minds, and improve their mood, making baking, be it cakes or biscuits, a fantastic activity.
Because of the proven benefits of baking for seniors, many residential homes across the country are starting to offer baking classes for their residents. These classes comprise of a range of recipes, from cakes and bakes to no-cook desserts. The idea behind these classes is to help to calm and relax residents, boost happiness, and encourage them to build a better relationship with food.
It’s clear that baking comes with many benefits for seniors, hence why baking therapy has been adapted in many residential homes across the country.