Since April 2016, residents at Vardaga’s Hornskroken have preparing food according to the “Like Home Cooking” concept. This method has proved to be a bonus for the residents as well as the carers. In the National Board of Health and Welfare annual survey, Hornskroken’s satisfaction rating improved by 11 percent – and employees believe the food is one big reason.
Group 7 includes six care recipients who suffer from dementia, and who are cared for by Cecilia, Timea and Mahad. The three colleagues agree that the quality of food served here has improved and that the residents eat better than before the “Like Home Cooking” initiative was introduced.
For example, when salad is prepared in the kitchen, potatoes need to be peeled, food is seasoned and the table must be set, it’s also a chance for the residents to lend a hand. These everyday events stimulate both memory and appetite.
“When we’re going to set the table, they really want to help,” says Mahad, who adds that when residents can smell the delicious aroma of food from the kitchen, it makes them hungry.
Carers join the residents at the table in group’s small kitchen to taste the food and talk with the residents. Communal dining contributes to a relaxed, home-like mealtime, explains Cecilia.
“We sit in the kitchen and everyone is focused on the food as long as someone there is eating,” she says.
As everyone knows, food is not just about sustenance – it’s also important to enjoy a calm atmosphere, conversation, a nicely laid table and celebrating special occasions and holidays in the company of others.
Not only does the group cook, they also bake bread and cakes.
“We bake almost every day if we have time. Yesterday we made a carrot cake,” says Timea.
Cecilia notes that the concept requires more work to prepare meals, but that the extra effort is rewarded because the residents eat better and thus feel better. Mahad also thinks that it’s fun to work in the kitchen and cook. The positive effect on residents increases when employees enjoy their jobs.
Vardaga Hornskroken is a facility for dementia patients. The home is centrally located in Stockholm on Södermalm Island, not far from Zinkensdamm and Tantolunden. The facility offers 53 apartments on six floors, as well Pensionat Hornskroken, a unique and highly commended relief housing facility for elderly dementia patients.
Read more about Hornskroken