St Ives care home residents take foodie trip down memory lane

Roger with his pineapple and cheese on sticks at St Ives' care home.

Roger, from Field Lodge, in St Ives takes part in Food For Thought at the care home. - Credit: CARE UK

Residents at a care home in St Ives have taken a trip down memory lane as part of a nationwide initiative to rediscover their favourite foods from the past.

Care UK’s Field Lodge, on London Road, hosted a 1970's themed tea party, complete with quiche Lorraine, vol u vents, and Battenberg cake, as part of their celebrations which aimed to rediscover residents favourite foods throughout the decades.

Residents spent the morning making cheese and pineapple hedgehogs for the event, as well as taking part in a reminiscence session all about their favourite foods from the past.

The Food for Thought initiative sees Care UK homes across the country take part in activities which encourage memory sharing and the use of food as a tool for reminiscence.

Maureen from Field Lodge, in St Ives, takes part in Food for Thought.

Maureen from Field Lodge, in St Ives, takes part in Food for Thought. - Credit: CARE UK

Linda Martinez, home manager at Field Lodge, said: “We had a wonderful time dining through the decades and reminiscing about our favourite foods from the past.

“Reminiscence activities have many positive effects for older people, particularly those living with dementia. Re-connecting with the past can improve mood, encourage communication and provide a topic and stimulus for residents to engage with.

“Everyone had a wonderful time chatting about their favourite foods, and it was wonderful to hear about everyone’s fond memories of the seventies.”

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As part of the project, Care UK has also teamed up with BBC’s Back in Time for… presenter and historian, Dr Polly Russell, to create a special tasting menu for residents to enjoy. Designed to be used as a sensory tool to encourage reminiscence in older people, the menu features iconic foods from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, and has been used as part of an interactive storytelling session, hosted by Dr Polly, to encourage reminiscence.

Dr Polly commented: “I am delighted to have partnered with Care UK for this project. There really is something incredibly special about the way food can evoke memories and emotions. Just one flavour or smell can prompt a different memory and emotion for each individual, which is why food can be such a powerful tool for memory recall."