World Mental Health day, this year has as it’s theme the ‘older person’, in Leeds the advocacy organisation A4MHD have with the help of older people with lived experience of mental health issues, produced a work of art, it is a giant 7 tiered cake, …turn up on the 10th October at 1.30pm in Albion Place to see what the cake really looks like, (this is a borrowed internet image), the cake will then be cut and shared with passers by.
Most of us know that too many sweet things probably aren’t healthy for us, but on special occasions, a treat, and comfort food.
Making cakes is very satisfying, and an interest in home style baking is on the increase, a fashion for all things vintage has led to many themed tea rooms, where you can take a trip down memory lane, and eat a bun or two! There is some evidence that the process of baking has therapeutic outcomes for people with dementia, perhaps it re-awakens those practical things people of a ‘certain age’ learned rote fashion, creamed cake method, …half fat to flour, for short crust pastry, the ‘rubbed in’ method and of course the pleasure of finger licking any remaining mixture in the bowl, icing and eating the finished result.
The extent of the problem of Dementia will also be recognised on the 10th of October, by The Centre for Research in to Reading and the Reader Organisation their statistics indicate there are
“over 800,000 people in the UK live with dementia, and an estimated 670,000 with family and friends acting as primary carers”
they will discuss and consider the power of reading aloud in groups as an aid to improving quality of life for sufferers and carers alike.
World Mental Health Day takes place each year on the 10th October, and can serve as a reminder how extensive mental health problems are, and yet how it’s often the simple things. like being enabled to access pleasant memories, or pursuing simple pastimes such as baking, reading that make the difference to the lives of those affected.