What is "therapeutic cooking"?
Cooking is not only helpful for physical rehabilitation for elderly people, but it gives them motivation and confidence, while being beneficial for their care and the prevention of dementia at the same time. We labeled it "therapeutic cooking".
What are the benefits of “cooking activities”?
The benefits of cooking activities include feelings of accomplishment since your finished work is visibly sitting in front of you, and more than anything, you can enjoy eating them. For elderly people, cooking is a very familiar act that they have been repeatedly conducted in their daily lives, and that is why it is effective in promoting their self-sustainability. If they can cook for themselves as much as possible, it may delay the need for nursing care. Cooking itself can be a very fun activity. Additionally, it’s enjoyable when people cook and eat meals with each other. Furthermore, because cooking is comprised of many different degrees of processes and tasks, it is possible to allot a suitable “role” to each person. This reaffirms their “roles” in daily life and helps them “recover their confidence”. Allowing the participants to “understand their own role” is an important feature of “cooking activities”. In particular, for those elderly people who have spent years cooking for their family members, “cooking activities” allows a bit of joy into their lives. Additionally, it has been revealed that cooking activates prefrontal cortex activity. Various functions of “cooking activities” are effective in moderating behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) and are thought to improve people’s quality of life (QOL).
What is the difference between
therapeutic cooking and recreation?
The purpose of “therapeutic cooking” is to achieve the individual goals of each participant and improve their QOL. With that in mind, it is important to make a sufficient prior assessment of each person and set a goal based on the view of ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health), and then make a plan with contents that fit that goal. Additional important processes are post-evaluation and including that feedback in the following session. Individual evaluation allows staff members to become deeply involved with each participant and understand them better. For staff members, it is an effective method to improve their observation and care skills.
Flow of therapeutic cooking
This site contains translated exerts from
“Therapeutic Cooking for the Prevention and Care of Dementia”
(Published by Creates Kamogawa in 2014, originally in Japanese)
The original book was written and edited by Natsuko Yukawa in collaboration
with Saeko Maeda and Chiho Myojin.
Transleted by Mikiko Yamaguchi and Lee Lubeck
This work is supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 25510001
Copyright ©2016 Natsuko Yukawa