Memory Care: The Relationship Between Food and Memory

by CityView Staff

The power of food is undeniable. You’ve likely had the experience of a meal transporting you to a different time or place. Maybe you’ve even eaten something that evoked strong feelings of nostalgia, joy, or sadness. It’s easy to forget how much food is intertwined with our lives, since we all eat every day – but its significance in our day-to-day lives is what makes food such a powerful tool in memory care.

As a senior living community providing memory care services, CityView is familiar with the importance of food in senior care. It’s a fact that food choices impact health, but when it comes to memory care, food is more than nourishment; it’s also a doorway into the past. In this article, we explore how food can play a valuable role in memory care.

Memory Care: The Relationship Between Food and Memory

Food as Reminiscence Therapy

In reminiscence therapy, prompts are used to provoke nostalgia in seniors with dementia, helping them revisit positive moments from the distant past. Connecting with these memories helps remind patients of who they are, affirming their sense of identity, self-esteem, and even improving communication with loved ones.

Though this type of memory care traditionally uses photo albums or other relics from the past, reminiscence therapy is most effective when it involves all of the senses. A distinctive perfume or popular song from 50 years ago, for example, can bring a strong sense of familiarity and comfort to someone with dementia. And what better way to stimulate the senses and evoke the past than through food?

After all, food involves all of the senses, not just taste. Who isn’t familiar with the sound of sizzling hot oil, the smell of freshly baked bread, or the refreshing texture of a crisp piece of watermelon? Food provides natural aromatherapy, visual stimulation, and comfort, all important elements in memory care.

Whether it’s through baking cookies with grandchildren, passing down a treasured recipe, or sharing stories over lunch, it’s clear that food connects us to one another as well as our own histories.

Closing Thoughts

When it comes to food in senior care, its most obvious purpose is for health – but food is also deeply personal, cultural, and communal. For seniors with memory loss, food can also be a powerful tool to trigger positive emotions, spark long-forgotten memories, and inspire connections with loved ones.

At CityView, we’re proud to offer upscale service at affordable prices in the heart of Los Angeles. If you’re looking for luxury senior care for yourself or a loved one in the Los Angeles area, contact us today to learn more.