Bake Bread

So, in reality, you could really bake or make anything.  Cooking in general is a great activity because it is easily modifiable/broken into smaller steps as needed based on the person with dementia’s remaining skills and abilities.  Those in the early stage might just need a recipe and a few check-ins to make sure everything going smoothly (the stove is preheated, the timer is set, they don’t skip any ingredients, etc) while those in the moderate stages might need tasks broken down into individual steps with everything necessary to complete the job in front of them (example: measure 1/2 cup flour, with the measuring cup and flour in plain sight), while those in the late stages may only be able to do simple tasks with help (such as stirring, taste testing, etc).  Be sure to be flexible and jump in to prevent frustration, but step back to let the person complete what they can independently.  Remember, this is an activity blog, so the point is the process, not necessarily the outcome or the speed in which you’re done.

That being said, this is why I think break, out of all the cooking/baking options in the world, is a particularly nice option to try if you’re new to the world of cooking with dementia.

1. It’s pretty cheap to make, so if you mess it up, it’s not a huge financial loss.

2. It’s not a main course, so if you mess it up, you the whole dinner plan isn’t out of whack.

3. It’s not dessert, so you won’t be super disappointed if it turns out wrong (or is that just me who gets sad when I burn the brownies?).

4. Making bread may be a long-term memory, and therefore more familiar than other tasks.

5. It smells awesome when cooking, and smell is a great memory trigger for reminiscing.

6. Kneading break is very soothing and can get out some aggression.

 

Now, I won’t bore you with a recipe for bread.  I’m sure you can find one that sounds good to you.  But I will say that buying a pre-formed loaf or tube of biscuits doesn’t count!

 

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