October 25th is National Pasta Day. As a family caregiver, you know how important it is to make sure your parent eats a healthy, balanced diet with a variety of nutritious, satisfying foods. What they eat contributes dramatically to their physical functioning, as well as how they feel. This is not the only way that your senior’s meals can impact their life, however. The actual act of cooking can be a critical contributor to their well-being, and even their cognitive functioning. Cooking dinner together can be a valuable way to spend quality time together, and also to help your parent maintain stronger cognitive functioning, sharper memory, and improved mental and emotional health. National Pasta Day is the ideal opportunity to get into the kitchen together to prepare a meal, and then enjoy time together with the entire family eating together.
Some ways of cooking together can stimulate your mind include:
- Encouraging them to talk and interact, which provides social stimulation.
- Encouraging them to share memories about the types of food you are preparing, which stimulates their memory, and can sharpen both memory recall and retention.
- Following through with instructions such as reading and completing a recipe helps to keep their mind active, and encourage faster, more reliable cognitive processing.
- Practicing basic skills such as measuring keeps various areas of the brain active and sharp, which can help to slow cognitive functioning decline.
- Spending this time together helps to keep your parent-child relationship stronger, which can make them more receptive to care and reduce stress for both of you.
- Encouraging them to share family recipes, or recipes they prepared for you when you were younger provides a sense of importance and relevance that reduces depression, and boosts motivation. This is also meaningful for you, helping to create a stronger link and increasing meaning in your care relationship.
Getting into the kitchen with your senior and cooking together is just one of the ways home care can benefit them on a regular basis. An in-home senior care services provider can help your parent to continue cooking for themselves, make good nutritional choices, and enjoy mental stimulation through preparing meals and snacks together. This care provider can also provide further companionship and support, and activities to keep your parent’s mental emotional health high, encourage physical health, and help them to enjoy a higher quality of life as they age. As their family caregiver, this can give you confidence that your parent is getting everything they need both when you are with them and when you are not.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Liberty Lake, WA, please contact the friendly staff at Love at Home Senior Care, today. Call (509) 204-4088
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