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.