Cooks simpler recipes
When it happens By the middle of mild-stage dementia
Why it happens Following sequences or multistep processes becomes increasingly problematic. The brain has trouble remembering what was just done or what to do next. Often in early dementia, people compensate for these challenges by finding ways to make familiar activities more straightforward.
What you can do
Be supportive. Embrace the simpler recipes.
Don't ask for complicated old favorites if preparing them seems to frustrate. Although old habits and memories die hard and some dishes can still be prepared by rote, you should be prepared for skipped steps or forgotten ingredients.
Don't expect that simply writing down recipes will make them more manageable. It also becomes difficult to read and follow a written sequence of steps.
Offer to help out, so that you can follow the recipe and be a subtle guide.
Do encourage the chef to keep cooking as long as it's safe and possible. Maintaining former activities preserves self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment, even if the person is simply snapping beans instead of sautéing them for a fancy dish.