I know I am straying away from the typical recipe post, but I collaborated with an amazing woman named Danielle Kunkle, who works with medicare beneficiaries and offers them support as they navigate with their insurance options. She is very passionate about the elderly population and wrote this amazing article on the benefits of baking for seniors. My parents are in this population and this article was very insightful. So I hope you all enjoy it!
Not everyone starts as a great baker or enjoys. Baking can be perfected over time and with a great deal of patience. Many small details go into baking, and the more you bake, the better you will get at estimating ingredients and knowing what needs to be added.
Each holiday and birthday, you can bring a new dessert for everyone to try. Not only can you enjoy your creation, but it can be a way to bond with your children and grandchildren. Improved motor skills and brain health can result from baking in your senior years.
A hobby that keeps you busy
Baking can help fill your extra time during retirement. There may be in-person groups of even online groups you can join where you can practice and share recipes. Baking can give you a reason to bond and spend time with your children and grandchildren. You can pass along your techniques and skills to others. Increased socialization due to t his hobby can help with depression and loneliness, which can be essential in your senior years.
Activates multiple senses
Baking stimulates all five senses, but mostly your smell and taste. However, when you begin the baking process and your ingredients laid out, your first sense you use is sight. You learn to eyeball the amounts that you need for each ingredient. Over time, you will no longer need your recipe in front of you. When you use your hands to mix ingredients, you are stimulating your sense of touch.
As the product is in the oven, your sense of smell will be triggered as the batter heats up into a final product. Once the product has cooled, you can stimulate your sense of taste and enjoy what you baked. The smell and taste can bring back memories from your childhood when you would help your family members bake.
Physical health benefits
Along with stimulating senses, baking increases motor skills. Baking is a hands-on activity from start to finish. Whether you are cracking eggs, whisking, or pouring ingredients, you are constantly using your hands. You may think you are completely done once the product is out of the oven, but you also have to clean up, which involves scrubbing and using force to clean your utensils and baking sheets.
Once your product is ready to be decorated, you will use smooth movements and techniques to illustrate what you made. The more you bake and do these movements, the more your motor skills will improve.
Mental health benefits
When it comes to your brain health, you can improve both cognitive and emotional health through baking. Your cognitive function is your ability to remember and learn, improving as your practice and repeat recipes. As you familiarize yourself with the necessary amounts of ingredients and spices, you can get creative and stray from the exact recipe. Baking can also challenge you as you find more complex recipes that you may want to perfect.
You can use baking to calm and reduce stress. Baking one product at a time gives you one thing to focus on and easy steps to follow. Once you have perfected the recipe, you can show off what you made to your friends and family at special events.
Retirement is the perfect time to dust off your old cookbooks and try something new. Baking can improve physical health, mental health, increase socialization, and stimulate senses. Aside from the many benefits you get from baking, you can also get to eat delicious desserts as you try new recipes. You can get involved in a nearby class which can help give you a sense of purpose and help you meet new people.