Does your parent love to bake or cook but finds that by living on her own (or with her partner), she doesn’t have enough mouths to eat her scrumptious concoctions? Winter months are a great time to warm up the home with a hot stove creating delicious treats for others.
Cooking and baking are also great activities to spend time together and then arranging delivery of those products boosts moods of not only the recipients but the provider as well. If you’re able to join your parent during these meal prep and baking sessions, you might also learn some great family history. There’s nothing better than stories shared while prepping meals or getting ingredients.
What makes a home smell better than freshly baked bread? Not much! Have your elderly care provider plan a shopping trip with your parent beforehand to get all of the ingredients and then plan a morning together to bake up several loaves of bread. There are easy YouTube videos to watch for directions or even just reading a good bread baking cookbook will give you tons of ideas of what kind of bread to bake.
Once you and your parent have baked several loaves, think of some friends she may have that would enjoy a fresh loaf of bread. The drop off can be completely contactless by dropping off the loaf by the door and then having the recipient grab it after your parent is back in her car. A friendly wave and shouted hello will help her connect with someone she cares about. Your elderly care provider can be the driver for this fun giving activity.
For many elderly people, creating meals can be a process they’re no longer able to do. If your parent has always been a great cook, why not help her create multiple meals of the same thing so that she can give some away? In addition to buying enough ingredients before she begins, purchase some sharable meal containers (such as plastic containers for microwave-heatable meals or tin foil pans for oven-heatable meals).
Once she has several meals prepared, she can keep them herself to bring to friends when they’re going through a tough time (recovering from a surgery or mourning the loss of a loved one). It’ll make a thoughtful and caring gift to those needing a little extra care.
A cool home is a great place to bake up batches and batches of cookies. Find some favorite recipes and join your parent in baking up sheets of sweet bars and cookies to share with loved ones. Freshly baked treats can be great for sharing with those who stop by your parent’s home for deliveries and visits (your elderly care provider may just love a gift of a little container of chocolate chip cookies).
It might also be a wonderful way for your elderly parent to connect with her grandkids and nieces and nephews. After a baking session, pack up cookies and bring them to the family members she hasn’t been able see in person so they can still get some sweet love from her despite social distancing.