At Cooking Mamas we wanted to create a cooking group for ladies who have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It is understood that maintaining a healthy and fulfilled lifestyle whilst juggling the ever increasing demands of daily living, can be challenging due to the unpredictable nature of living with Multiple Sclerosis (Roessler et al 2003). By creating a group where clients can share their experiences and learn new strategies and techniques, a cooking group aims to create a supportive social environment where clients can grow in confidence and be motivated to reach their goals (Roessler et al 2003). This will be achieved by enabling them to prepare simple recipes that they can enjoy making for their family. Being able to prepare a meal will increase their families sense of ‘togetherness’, help them feel more in control of their independence, and enable them to continue their valuable roles within the family. This is because being able to sustain these valuable life roles and family routines will positively influence the whole family and improve their health and wellbeing (Evans and Rodgers 2008).
By using the occupation of cooking, the therapist can support and enable clients to maintain their independence by learning how to plan, simplifying or adapt the activities of cooking so that they are better prepared to manage the physical and mental challenges of Multiple Sclerosis, that may have prevented them in the past. This will also enable clients to recognise how these skills can be transferred to adapting other self care, work and leisure occupations that are so important to them. Cooking Mamas will enable clients to discover the best way to prepare healthy and nutritious meals that their family can enjoy eating together.