Peanut Butter Kisses: Assisted Living

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elderly woman in assisted living PALouise Walsh’s “Peanut Butter Kisses” induce fond memories for her daughters and are helping to create new traditions at the assisted living community where she lives. Mrs. Walsh has been a resident at The Oaks Assisted Living for Memory Impairment, in Wyncote, PA for the past five years. She is sharing her delicious “Kisses” with her fellow residents as part of an innovative new recreational program at the community, the Resident Pastry Chef Program.

The pastry chef program was developed to inspire socialization and stimulation among the residents by involving the community, staff, residents, and families in celebrating old traditions with new friends. Resident’s family members were asked to share recipes and stories that evoked memories of their loved ones. The program was an overwhelming success with many families sharing joyous childhood memories of cooking in the kitchen with Mom or Dad.

Each month, The Oaks selects one recipe to feature. Featured recipes become the focus of the center’s cooking program and marketing events. Families, staff, and residents join together to share the culinary treat, which is carefully prepared by the residents. The treat is also shared with members of the local community during special events and activities.

Louise Walsh’s winning recipe was chosen as the most recent honoree from among several submissions. The staff members at The Oaks were not only intrigued by the delicious recipe but were also inspired by the beautiful note that Louise’s daughters submitted. Her daughters recounted stories of making the “Peanut Butter Kisses” with Louise when they were young, calling those hours in the kitchen “some of their fondest family memories.”

Judging by the response of her fellow residents and The Oaks’ staff members, Louise’s “Kisses” will continue to make memories. Everyone loved the dessert and enjoyed the process of preparing it together. The Resident Pastry Chef Program truly integrates families, residents, staff, and the community into one successful tasty endeavor. The program builds trust, inspires stimulation, and provides an opportunity for all involved in the residents’ care to celebrate the memories and traditions that are the ingredients to their life’s recipe.

Aside from being a great culinary artist, Ms. Walsh keeps The Oaks upbeat with her amazing dancing skills. Louise is an integral part of her community and continues to inspire those around her. Her wonderful smile is nearly as sweet as her delightful “Kisses.”

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