Many elderly adults deal with cognitive functioning decline and memory loss to some degree as they age. This can be quite mild and primarily a frustration or nuisance, but it can also be severe and negatively impact your parent’s function and quality of life. Whether your senior has started to show signs of such decline, or you simply want to protect them from this issue, stimulating their mind regularly is an important step in giving them the care that they need.
Regular mental stimulation helps to keep the mind sharp and strong, support good judgment and thought processes, help your parent to maintain memory and speed of recall, and ward off functioning decline. There are many ways that you can stimulate your parent’s mind on a regular basis, but one that is accessible, fun, meaningful, and a fantastic way for you to spend time together is cooking.
Try these ways to stimulate your parent’s mind with cooking:
-Ask them to come up with a particular food, favorite dish, or type of cuisine and then together explore this choice. learn more about it, research recipes, and go searching for the ingredients that you will need to create it.
-Talk to them about the foods that you are preparing or cooking, especially if you have specific memories of them, such as from when you were younger, and encourage them to share with you. Ask about memories that they might have or why they enjoy this particular food.
-Have your parent be responsible for measuring out ingredients or figuring out how much of ingredients you need if you are halving or doubling a recipe.
-Let your parent taste different ingredients or stages of a recipe and ask them to try to identify the food or ingredient, or guess what you were trying to prepare if they don’t already know.
Starting senior care for your aging loved one can be one of the best decisions that you can make during the course of your caregiver journey with them. A senior home care services provider can be in the home with your parent on a fully customized schedule, meaning that they will have continued and reliable access to the support, care, assistance, and companionship that they need to manage their individual needs and challenges, as well as to support their quality of life.
The highly personalized services that such a caregiver can provide will help your aging parent stay healthy, safe, happy, and comfortable, while also encouraging them to live a lifestyle that is as independent, active, and fulfilling as possible as they age in place.