COCONUT and jelly are being used as therapeutic tools for elderly residents with dementia at a Teesside care home.
The foods are just two of several used in multi-sensory sessions aimed at eliciting memories for those living at Mandale House Care Home, in Thornaby.
Sage and onion stuffing powder, pasta and dried peas are some of the other foods used in the exercise.
One resident, Jean Whenray, said the smells and tastes reminded her of her father and Sunday dinners.
Tracy Wilson, activities coordinator at Mandale House Care Home, came up with the idea after browsing a catalogue of activities for care home residents.
She said: “We’ve been doing regular sensory sessions with residents, especially on the dementia suite, as they really respond to the different smells, tastes and the touch of different food stuffs.
“They can also distract residents if they are feeling upset. They try and guess what the food is from the feel, smell or taste, and this can stimulate memories.
“We’ve used flour, tea leaves, coffee granules, anything with a distinctive taste or texture. Jelly crystals are the favourite so far as they’re sweet and nobody likes the stuffing.”