Smell is a very important part of our lives. Good and bad smells can stimulate, often bringing back memories good and bad.
I sometimes have cookery sessions which create many different smells, the favourite is cakes fresh from the oven which we eat with relish for our afternoon tea. Every year I make a Christmas cake with the residents, the smell of the cake straight from the oven and even better when it has been fed with brandy is always mouth wateringly delicious. Different spices, herbs, garlic etc. always stimulate the senses and discussion often follows. This can lead to lively reminiscences about cooking and what mother used to serve for tea.
Flowers also can evoke many memories ranging from what was grown on the allotment, making lavender bags to keep in the clothes drawers to the flowers in their wedding bouquets. If a resident has fragrant flowers bought for them after asking their permission I take them round for individuals to smell. I do this also with flowers from the garden, so far Lilly of the Valley has always been a favourite.
Lesley Burge, social activities co-ordinator.