BeWell Kitchens are popping up at all Presbyterian Senior Living Communities (PSL). Introduced at Glen Meadows Retirement Community in Glen Arbor, Maryland, Cura chefs and dietitians present this interactive demonstration and teaching kitchen featuring the monthly BeWell recipe in front of a kitchen backdrop! This fun culinary presentation invites residents to participate, which promotes lively discussions about ingredients, nutrition info, and personal life stories!
During the BeWell Kitchen, residents are invited to gather and mix their ingredients, which are pre-chopped and pre-portioned. According to Jeffry Deibler, district manager, the beauty of the BeWell Kitchen is that it encourages residents to be a part of meal preparation. “It’s more than just a cooking class, residents now understand and connect the ingredients that are used to prepare the recipe featured on their menu.”
Seniors with dementia also receive therapeutic benefits as culinary activities may trigger happy memories and the comforts of home! In fact, cooking activates the senses. When baking a cake, for example, seniors can be brought into the moment as they put their hands through the cool, soft dough. Or, a happy memory may be recalled when preparing and sharing a meal with their loved ones!
Before introduced during a BeWell Kitchen, a power grain with edamame soybeans and crispy tofu was not a popular selection with residents. Residents are now more inclined to order and enjoy this energy-boosting food!
At another PSL community, residents at St Andrews Village in Indiana, PA, enjoyed an exceptional performance of the BeWell Kitchen! “From the setup to the execution, everything was on point. One ‘foodie’ resident commented that she really enjoyed the fact that she could taste and smell the ingredients as she helped to prepare the meal,” said Deibler.
Activities like the BeWell Kitchen inspire residents to try new foods while making their health and wellness delicious, easy and fun!