Engaging with your mom in the latter stages of Alzheimer's involves tapping into her interests. She loved to cook. You don't trust her in the kitchen alone, but you don't want to keep her from something she loves. Follow these tips and she'll be able to continue enjoying cooking while doing it safely.
Make Sure the Kitchen is Arranged to Be Clutter-Free
Clean off the counters of unnecessary items. Once that's done, check the floor space for obstacles. You want to focus on helping your mom make something. If you're having to check that she's not slipping on a kitchen mat or kicking a pet food bowl, you'll be distracted.
Once you have a safe, clutter-free workspace. Lay out the ingredients you need. This way, you know that you have every ingredient and they're in an area your mom can reach.
Stick to Easy Recipes
Don't try to make anything too complex. Your mom's attention span isn't what it used to be. She needs a recipe with a handful of ingredients and a few steps. The steps cannot be too hard to follow.
For example, a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that has a dozen ingredients is going to be more challenging than peanut butter cookies with three ingredients. Homemade bread would be harder to make than scones.
Pinpoint His Strengths
Look at her strengths and make sure her tasks match them. If she has a hard time chopping vegetables, you should do that. Let her stir the pot while you're chopping ingredients and adding them.
If your mom still has arm strength, make some bread dough and let her do the kneading. Once she's tired of it, you can take over. She may find it relaxing to push and pull the dough around the floured board.
Practice Safety at All Times
If she wants to use a small kitchen appliance, time it so that you can supervise her. You don't want to turn your back and have her stick her hands in a stand mixer while it's running.
She may love washing dishes. You need to double-check that dishes are clean and dry before they're put away. Try to keep her from being the one washing and drying sharp knives and small appliances that cannot be immersed in water.
She will make messes. Her dishes may not come out perfectly. She may get frustrated and walk off. She will be easily distracted. Don't let that frustrate you. Follow her lead and finish up alone if you have to. If you're calm and understanding, it will be a fun experience that she'll want to repeat on other days.
Senior care services help families with care. You may have work demands or friends who want to go out. Rather than risk disappointing someone or losing your job, take breaks from family caregiving and get things done. Go out, socialize, and know that a senior care aide is keeping your mom safe while you're away.
If you are considering hiring senior care in Eden, UT, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Ogden, UT. Call today 801-821-4535.