Crafting can be an incredible way for seniors to engage in something enjoyable while also fostering better mental health and wellbeing.
The act of Crafting is one that involves creativity, dedication, imagination, and thought. Crafting makes great use of the mind and can be beneficial for seniors’ cognitive health in a number of meaningful ways. The mental stimulation and exercise for the brain that comes along with Crafting is often accompanied by benefits for mental health and wellbeing that can allow seniors an opportunity to decompress and create a better, peaceful, and more balanced state for themselves amidst everything else that is going on in their lives.
There are so many wonderful ways in which Crafting can contribute to creating a calm and positive mental state for seniors:
- Mindfulness: There is an almost meditative quality to sitting down, planning out a project, and engaging with it day-to-day until it is completed. Time spent Crafting can be an incredible time for seniors to take some time for themselves, to step away from the hardships or stressors of daily life, be totally mindful and present in the moment, and just focus on making something beautiful that adds something to their day, their space, or their minds.
- Lower Anxiety: Focusing on a craft and letting everything else drift away can help to ease anxiety and foster a powerful sense of calm that can be wonderful for all seniors, including those who deal with Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Nostalgia: For many seniors, the nostalgic and youthful nature of Crafting can also help seniors to connect to childhood memories and feel a sense of comfort that can radiate throughout the day.
- Happiness: Crafting and other creative activities have been shown to release dopamine, which naturally helps to increase feelings of happiness and ward off feelings of depression and sadness.
- Purpose: For seniors who are navigating life without the responsibilities they once had, hobbies like Crafting can provide a sense of purpose and an opportunity to build skills, confidence, and a better sense of self-worth and competency.
- Connection: Crafting can be done alone, but can also be something that seniors do with friends and loved-ones. Getting together to work on shared crafts or just sitting with one another and chatting while everyone does their own thing can create a valuable social opportunity for seniors in which they can foster connections and engage with others in meaningful ways.
Everyone has their own interests and is drawn to different things. Thankfully, the world of Crafting and creativity is so incredibly broad and varied that there is undoubtedly something out there that will appeal to everyone. The following are just a few ideas of Crafting activities that seniors may enjoy exploring as a new activity:
- Calligraphy / Lettering
- Wood Carving
- Cake Decorating
- Jewelry Making
- Faux Flower Arranging / Wreath making
This is by no means and exhaustive list, and there are so many resources available in books and online that can help seniors to explore and find the Craft activity that suits them best.
Crafting can be great for the mind and for the soul, and can be a lovely way for seniors to connect with themselves and with others.