As your loved ones age, they likely won’t lose any artistic hobbies they had earlier in life. Fortunately, aging and living in an assisted living community doesn’t mean they have to give up their favorite hobbies. In fact, considering the potential benefits of continuing to cultivate creative habits, continuing to do so even later in life is an excellent choice. Let’s see what crafts are best for your aging family members.
Practical Crafts for Seniors
Continuing to work on crafts during the senior years has been shown to improve motor skills, slow age-related cognitive impairment, reduce stress, and encourage friendships. Maintaining these hobbies can greatly boost your elderly loved ones’ mental and physical health alike! Here are several of the more popular crafting categories among seniors:
- Knitting, Crocheting, or Sewing
- Photo preservation
- Coloring or painting
- Crafts for family members
1) Knitting, Crocheting, or Sewing
The British organization Knit for Peace has reported that based on their research, knitting reduces the symptoms of depression, takes the patient’s mind off chronic pain, and provides a relaxation experience comparable to yoga. Of course, the hands-on nature of this particular activity also means it could improve your loved ones’ motor skills while relaxing them. What more could you need?
2) Photo Preservation
Have a bunch of photos that you keep meaning to put in a scrapbook? Why not let your elderly loved one make crafts with them? Scrapbooking or doing similar crafts with family photographs provide a relaxing activity as well as a walk down memory lane. They also make great custom gifts for later!
Pro Tip: Doing photo-related crafts and activities with your elderly loved ones can be part of a memory care routine as you talk about the people and activities shown in the pictures.
3) Coloring or Painting
The prevalence of adult coloring books has proven that guided creativity is a perfectly legitimate way for adults to relax and express themselves. Coloring in a predetermined mandala or similar design could help your elderly loved one retain their creative side without having to work too hard. If your family members prefer a more free-form style of art, see if they’re interested in painting rocks or other types of coloring art. Drawing and painting are remarkably simple and therapeutic forms of creative relaxation!
4) Crafts for Family Members
Finally, seniors in an assisted living community may feel isolated from their families. One way to combat these concerns is through encouraging them to make crafts as gifts for everyone back home. Alternatively, you can do these crafts together on visiting days or holidays. Make ornaments together during the Christmas season and exchange them, for instance. Your loved ones will appreciate the chance to do something fun and creative in company with family.
Encouraging Your Loved Ones’ Creative Side
Maintaining a habit of easy crafts and creativity well into retirement age is certainly a decision that is both healthy and enjoyable for your loved ones. Additionally, few things are more satisfying than looking at a completed project and realizing you made it yourself. Your senior loved ones will find plenty of benefits from taking time for a few crafts.
Join the conversation to learn more about practical crafts for seniors and maintaining healthy habits.