Crafting is something that many of us enjoy, regardless of age. Old and young alike, there is something wonderfully calming and nostalgic about sitting down with needles and yarn, paint and a brush, a little bit of clay, or even just some fabric remnants and letting your creative side take over. As we age, our mobility can become limited, so crafting also becomes one of the few activities in which seniors can actively participate as fully as younger folks, and it comes with a variety of health benefits that make it a meaningful way to spend an afternoon.
It also brings the added benefit of providing another outlet for reducing stress and lowering blood pressure in seniors. As a low-impact activity that requires focus and patience, it is cognitively challenging and a great option for those looking to help maintain or boost their memory during. While crafting may not often be on a doctor’s list of prescribed medicines, it’s a surefire way to help boost the health of seniors, and can also provide benefits to the well-being of both caregivers and seniors alike because it is an activity that can be enjoyed together.
A few specific craft related activities that promote wellness include the following:
The beautiful thing about painting is that there are many mediums to choose from—oils and acrylics to paint-by-numbers or even finger-painting if you’re not afraid of a little mess, seniors can paint the way they want to and paint the images they want. Deciding what you want to paint and how to paint it is also a big part of the fun and appeal of the activity. Perhaps most importantly, painting is a fantastic stress reducer, and according to doctors, repetitive movements help release serotonin, helping to boost mood and can even reduce symptoms of depression.
Many seniors may already know how to knit or crochet, but if not, it’s easy to learn while still being a great example of the kind of relaxing entertainment we’re talking about. Plus, this is an activity where it’s easy to start small and expand to a bigger project as your skills develop. This means that whether you are crocheting a potholder or a full-size quilt, you will get the same kind of benefits in connection with dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and focus skills, no matter what size project you’re working on.
In recent years this form of artistic expression has “grown up” in a big way. You don’t have to look far to find a vast array of adult coloring books, all touting enhanced relaxation and stress reduction benefits. Because coloring is a relatively simple activity, most everyone can do it with ease. Coloring provides similar benefits to painting through improved positive mental stimulation and activity, without being complicated. You simply pick up the book of your choice with the colors you like and get started.
At Pacifica Senior Living we understand the benefits these kinds of activities provide and we ensure that they are available to our residents in all of our communities. From our Independent Living residents to our LegaciesTM Memory Care communities—and everyone in-between—arts and crafts play a part in the programming we do each day. And if you'd like to learn more about the kinds of crafting we do in our communities and more about the health benefits these activities provide, check out this issue of The Vibe, Pacifica's own quarterly magazine.
If you’d like to know more about our robust activity programming, we invite you to call or send us an email today. We’d love to share more with you and help discover why Pacifica Senior Living is the right choice for you or your loved ones.