Mental Benefits of Cooking with Your Aging Parent

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Elderly Care in Bellville OH

Many people say that the kitchen is the heart of the house. This is where people tend to congregate when spending time in the home, and where you prepare meals and snacks to show your love Elderly-Care-in-Bellville-OHand nurturing to your family and friends. For many elderly adults, the kitchen holds an abundance of happy memories and is a place where they feel comfortable and familiar.

Studies have shown that getting into the kitchen and spending some time cooking is not just good for making sure that your parent gets the nutrition that they need. The actual act of cooking can also offer a wide variety of mental benefits as well. The benefits are so powerful that many doctors are even using cooking as a form of therapy to help those who are suffering from everything from ADHD and depression to Alzheimer’s disease.

Even if your aging parent is dealing with cognitive or physical challenges or limitations that make it more difficult for them to handle some of the basic tasks of cooking, modifications and gadgets can make it possible for cooking to be a regular activity your parent can enjoy with you or with the help of an elderly care provider.


Some of the mental benefits of cooking with your aging parent include:

  • Social engagement. Whether your parent is in the kitchen with you or with an elderly home care services provider, cooking can be a highly social experience. This is a time when you can talk not just about what you are preparing, but anything that happens to cross your mind. During the systematic preparations or the times when you are waiting in between steps, conversations can flourish and your parent can enjoy a boost in their mental and emotional health.
  • Triggering memories. The senses are very strongly linked to memory, especially the sense of smell. When your parent is in the kitchen they are surrounded by sensory stimulation that triggers memories and helps keep their mind stronger and sharper. Encourage your loved one to talk about the memories that the tastes, smells, sounds, and sights of the kitchen bring up, and share your own as well to create a more meaningful connection.
  • Exercising the mind. Just like your parent needs to exercise their body to stay healthy and strong, they also need to exercise their mind to keep it sharp and responsive. The process of cooking requires many different activities that stimulate the mind in different ways. Your parent will need to use problem solving skills to manage several different steps or tasks at once, math skills to handle measuring and combining, and processing skills to ensure each step is completed fully and properly before moving on to the next. This helps to keep their mind stronger and ward off functioning decline, memory loss, and other cognitive complications.
  • Emotional boost. Many seniors suffer from a sense of disconnection and loss of relevance when they are no longer able to do all of the things that they used to do for their families. Cooking, even if it is a simple recipe, is a way for them to enjoy a sense of accomplishment and enjoy a boost of feeling valuable and important in the lives of those they love.


If you are considering hiring elderly care in Bellville, Ohio, call the caring staff at Central Star Home Health at (419) 610-2161.  Providing services for families in Mansfield, Lexington, Bellville, Mt. Gilead, Loudonville, Crestline, Galion, Shelby, Ashland, Wooster, and the surrounding areas.



About the author: Tracy Clark
Tracy began working for Star Multi Care as the Administrator of the Mansfield, Ohio office in March, 2012. In January, 2014 she was relocated to Florida to assume the role as Branch Administrator of the Pembroke Pines and subsequently the Home Health Liaison until coming back to Ohio in June, 2015. Prior to working at Star Multi Care, Tracy attended Marion Technical School for Business Administration and served as a United States Army Medic during Desert Shield. However, her true life’s work was awakened while spending 12 years in the long term care and assisted living arena. She quickly learned that assisting older adults was a passion that could not be denied. Tracy takes pride in being able to meet with each of her clients upon admission. Getting to know each of them enables her to personalize the care they receive and to direct her staff to ensure they receive the highest quality of care. In addition to her role as Home Health Liaison, Tracy has always been active in her community. She has served on the Salvation Army Advisory Board as Secretary, is a Certified Salvation Army National Disaster Responder, one of 1500 Specialists in 50 states to complete Mather LifeWays “PREPARE” training which trains professionals to address the medical and psychosocial needs of elderly residents affected by emergency situations, a member of the Advisory Committee for the Clinical Care Specialist Program at Madison Adult Career Center and is a member of various professional organizations throughout southeast Florida.