How Communal Cooking Eases Agitation in Dementia
The process of cooking is a great way to ease the mind and allow us a way to calmly focus.
Many people all over the world find cooking to be relaxing and therapeutic, but we now understand that it can have real benefits for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. In fact, a 2003 study showed that older adults who are living with dementia saw noticeable improvements in agitation levels after just two weeks of daily cooking.
The act of cooking itself can both help to slow the advancement of dementia and help people who have dementia feel more purpose and greater self-confidence. It’s a calming, process-driven activity that focuses the mind and stimulates all five senses. Cooking also helps seniors stay independent longer, and it often leads to a healthier diet with fewer pre-prepared and processed foods.
Cooking gets even more beneficial when we do it for others. There are very real psychological benefits to altruism, and cooking is a nurturing act that makes people feel connected and forms lasting bonds. In this way, communal cooking—when we gather together to cook for each other—builds community and boosts everyone’s mood at the same time. It really is good for the body, mind, and spirit! So, get cooking with your family and friends, and you’ll probably feel less stressed and more relaxed in the process.