We do a lot of baking here at Quantum Care and when I say “we” I mean the residents and staff in our homes. It’s one of the many activities that regularly appear on our activities schedules and it’s definitely a firm favourite.
On the surface it might seem obvious why baking is such a satisfying activity; it’s creative, can be enjoyed as a group and as a social activity and the end results offer a tasty treat to the bakers and to others in the home. But there are a number of other benefits to the process of baking that might not immediately come to mind.
Baking can be a great way of reducing stress. It requires attention, takes time, involves repetitive actions such as stirring and can be very meditative. Actions such as kneading dough can help to reduce levels of anxiety and finishing a bake can contribute to an increase in overall happiness levels.
Because food plays a constant role in family life, baking can evoke memories and those in turn can start conversations. Reminiscing and sharing past events with others encourages those around you to do the same and this often results in very rewarding social interactions which can help in relationship building.
There’s also the positive effect baking can have on residents who have trouble with appetite levels. These levels very often decrease as people grow older and baking is an excellent way to increase those levels during the activity itself. The actions involved, the smell of the ingredients, the baking process and the looking forward to the results can all increase appetite.
Finally, baking is an enjoyable activity that can be incredibly rewarding. It can be as complicated or as simple as you like and it offers a great deal of versatility if you’re looking for a group activity for people with differing skill levels.