Many aging retirees, both male and female, enjoy baking. Aside from the fact that it allows you to heat up your oven and prepare an infinite variety of mouthwatering meals, it also provides a number of other lesser known advantages, so below is a list of benefits of baking for seniors.
While all forms of cooking require a degree of creativity, baking in particular is an art form. You’ll need to follow a specific recipe, but you can also experiment by altering flavors, shapes, decorations, or colors, whether you intend to make biscuits or cakes. It is a fun but mentally challenging activity that will keep your mind sharp and very focused which will inhibit the development of cognitive ailments such as dementia.
Creates Feelings of Independence
Those who are over the age of 65 sometimes feel a loss of independence since they often depend on others to help them with things that they could easily do themselves when younger. This naturally creates feelings of helplessness, but baking is a small but effective way to reclaim your independence as well as dignity. The sense of accomplishment that you’ll have by cooking a wonderful meal will greatly increase your self-esteem and well-being.
Provides an Opportunity to Socialize
While baking can be undertaken when living independently, it can be much more fun when done as a group. Those that have children or grandchildren can get them in on the action, providing an activity to bond. It also allows elders to teach youngsters timeless tips for preparing a great tasting meal that they can then pass on to their own children. No matter how you look at it, baking a dish with others is one of the best ways to socialize.
Stress can be a frequent source of trouble for elders that have dementia, but baking is one of the best ways to alleviate it. Reasons for this include its emphasis on paying attention, but the mechanics are also repetitive and simple, which transforms it into an almost meditative activity. For example, performing a task like kneading bread has been proven to lower anxiety while baking the meal and the wonderful aroma it provides will create feelings of joy that can overcome depression.
Stimulates Appetite and Senses
As a consequence of aging, some retirees may experience weight loss and reduced appetite. Baking, combined with other activities such as increasing one’s fitness levels, will rebuild appetite while enhancing the senses.
Studies undertaken on baking have found that those who engage in it actually release endorphins within their brains, which is considered the chemical for happiness. This actually assists with eating issues which greatly helps those suffering from dementia or who are known to have appetite issues. Baking has the power to connect every one of the senses which will remind the body and brain to enjoy food.
The final benefit of baking is its inherent ability to activate positive memories. Most people can remember having great tasting meals baked for them as children and these fond memories and pleasant experiences can encourage them to do some baking of their own.