Easy Crafts for Seniors That Stimulate The Mind
The onset of Dementia or Alzheimer’s leaves little in the way of encouragement and can be frightening. However, aside from medication, there are activities and habits that can help in the aid of memory.
Cognitive stimulation helps to slow the decline. Through cognitive stimulation, these activities can bring a sense of joy back into life, encourage well being, and improve the quality of a person’s life.
When life lacks a sense of accomplishment then quality can be lost. There are general suggestions for improving life for dementia patients, such as:
Crafts are an interesting suggestion. Often it’s easy to assume once a dementia patient has begun the steeper decline that they’ve lost their ability to create, which isn’t true.
The following is a list of easy crafts for seniors that nearly anyone can complete.
Easy Crafts for Seniors
Painting lets the engaged participant bypass language since the brain navigates a fresh communication path.
While any sort of painting is an excellent choice, painting with water allows a new sense of wonder as water brings color to paper.
For those with low vision, watercolors or paint-by-numbers may prove to be more visually appealing.
Adult Coloring Book
Coloring, like painting, opens up a new path for participants. For aggression, agitation, restlessness, and anxiety, coloring allows the participant to de-stress.
It’s also a way to assist retention, but can be more harmful to participants struggling with manual dexterity.
Memory books are multi-sensory tools used to prolong memory and enhance cognition.
Their function is much like a scrapbook but contains captions, music, voice recordings, familiar and favorite songs, stories, and poetry. It’s a form of reminiscence therapy but is also an excellent crafting option.
Aside from being a rewarding task, scrapbooking is a group activity (two or more) that encourages recognition between participants and photographs.
As long as the scrapbook is meaningful, contains their life, and encourages interaction, it stands as a cognitive aid in retention and an emotional boost for relaxation.
These are an excellent way to facilitate spatial awareness, slow the decline, provide a rewarding experience, and allow a sense of achievement.
Puzzles exercise both sides of the brain, inducing both logic and creativity. When participants feel rewarded and have a sense of achievement, their body releases dopamine. The decline slows with consistent brain stimulation.
The repetitive methodology of weaving, knitting, crocheting, or sewing is an excellent aid in relieving anxiety. While some aren’t capable of the manual dexterity, the mimicry of the task helps.
This works well to aid participants in engaging them in a meaningful way with projects that once meant something great.
The idea of this craft is to outline a tree or animal, color it in, and then decorate it with buttons. If the participant can’t draw, print out a template they can color and decorate.
This particular task encourages recognition, without demanding details, and creativity while focusing attention.
This is an exceptional way to engage participants in the use of their hands, creative thinking, and patience. There are no demands when it comes to sculpting, so the project remains relaxing throughout the duration. Ideally, the participant sculpts whatever they desire — even abstract forms.
While crafts are useful and highly recommended, it’s also important to cover the daily basis. The goal is to stimulate logically and creatively.
The effects are, more precisely, stimulation of the mental and social functions. Dementia and Alzheimer affect various aspects of a person.
It affects their memory and even their personality as they decline further. While there isn’t a cure for these afflictions, slowing the decline helps.
Ways to continue helping with improvement or decline are to engage the person directly and introduce routine into their lives.
Routine is necessary for everyone. For those suffering Alzheimer’s or Dementia, daily routines can be especially beneficial. Dental hygiene, showering, eating, and dressing are a few examples of gently enforced routine.
Likewise, the responsibilities are important. It can be especially helpful to those who lived their lives for their responsibility. Offer up daily chores, such as laundry or pet feeding.
Creativity comes in the crafts above, but logic also needs stimulation as much as creativity. While some crafts do both, it’s also useful to keep logic exercised through games, puzzles, or reading.
Socializing daily is necessary, as long as it isn’t causing undue stress, in which case employ specialized methods. However, visiting with family and friends helps suffers from Dementia or Alzheimer’s with recognition and comfort.
The physical part of a person is as important as the mental part. Keep the body properly exercised through walks, exercise, or even dance.
Always Make Sure the Participant is Engaged
It’s important to keep in mind that each task, whether creative, habitual, or logical requires consideration of the participant.
Helping someone remain engaged is incredibly important to slow their decline, but it’s also imperative to adjust the approach as their condition progresses.
Take into consideration their skills, mental abilities, their pleasures, physical margins, and emotional boundaries.
Focus on the things they enjoy; encourage achievement but never make it the goal; promote involvement but never force it, and pay attention to their favorite tasks. Model other projects to be similar but keep a variance so as not to stagnate their abilities.
Adjust activities to the stages a person will undergo, introduce more repetitive options in later stages, but never discourage their capabilities.