Edinburgh care homes dine through the decades with special guest

Residents at three care homes in Edinburgh have taken a trip down memory lane as part of a nationwide initiative to rediscover their favourite foods from the past.

Edinburgh care homes dine through the decades with special guest

Article Source: Care UK
First Published: 19 February 2021 13:06
Updated: 19 February 2021 13:07

Residents at three care homes in Edinburgh have taken a trip down memory lane as part of a nationwide initiative to rediscover their favourite foods from the past.

Care UK’s Lauder Lodge on Wakefield Avenue, were joined virtually by BBC food historian, Dr Polly Russell, from Back in Time for… for a live interactive food tasting session designed to transport residents back to their younger years.

Partnering with Care UK for the Food for Thought initiative, which sees care homes across the country celebrate their favourite foods throughout the decades, Dr Polly has worked alongside Care UK chefs to create a unique reminiscence tasting menu. The menu features iconic foods from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s and is designed to be used as a sensory tool to encourage reminiscence in older people.

As part of the event, the home’s talented chef, Graham Watson, prepared an array of bitesize delights from the menu, including kedgeree, prawn cocktail and black forest gateau, for residents to enjoy while Dr Polly talked through each dish’s history and encouraged residents to share their associated memories with her and each other.

Getting into the spirit of the initiative, residents at Murrayside care home, on Beechwood, held a food-focused reminiscence session where their favourite meals were recreated, while the team at Cairdean House, on Redford Road, hosted a special 1970s themed fancy dress celebration, complete with a buffet of food inspired by the era.

Dr Polly said: “I was delighted to partner with Care UK to create a reminiscence tasting menu, and I had a fantastic time chatting to residents about some of their favourite foods throughout the ages.

“There really is something incredibly special about the way food can evoke memories and emotions, and it was wonderful to see how everyone’s faces light up when they tried each dish. Just one flavour or smell can prompt a different memory and emotion for each individual, which is why a session like this can be so powerful."


Nicole Anderson, Home Manager at Lauder Lodge, added: “We loved meeting Dr Polly virtually, and taking part in the sensory reminiscence activity.

“Here at Care UK, we believe in the power of activity-based care, and we’re always looking for new and exciting experiences to promote wellbeing. Reminiscence activities can be extremely beneficial for older people, particularly those living with dementia, as long-term memory typically remains stronger than the short-term. Drawing on strong memories helps to boost confidence and provides an opportunity to re-live happy times, which can prompt conversation and evoke the associated emotions.

“Everyone had a great time dining through the decades and it was wonderful to hear residents share their memories during the session.”


Lauder Lodge, Murrayside and Cairdean House have been designed to deliver the very best standards of care and to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives. The homes provide full-time residential, residential dementia and nursing care, as well as short-term respite.

To find out more about Care UK’s homes in Edinburgh, visit careuk.com/care-homes/edinburgh

To find out more about Care UK’s partnership with Dr Polly Russell, and for more top tips on how you and your loved ones can get involved at home, visit careuk.com/food-for-thought

If you’re looking for more information about nutrition for older people, download our guide to ‘Eating as we age’ here: careuk.com/care-homes/eating-as-we-age

Image: L-R - Alana Graham, Chloe Whyte, Callum Arnott and Emma Bishop from Cairdean House.

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