Craft Ideas for the Elderly

by Kat
(Tucson, AZ)

Snowmen Crafts

Snowmen Crafts

I've found that it's not always easy coming up with craft ideas for the elderly. You have to take into consideration their eyesight, their cognitive abilities, their patience levels, and of course, their fine motor skills or dexterity. Most of all, you want crafts to be fun and not overwhelming, so the easier you can keep the projects, the better. Even the simplest craft might be challenging for an elderly individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's.


In working with my mother, I have found some favorite and easy crafts can range from making lavender pillows to providing knitting pattern for scarves to painting pre-crafted wood ornaments at Christmas time. Bookmarks are also easy, with pre-cut out figures using Mod Podge or glue. Decorating picture frames and creating handmade Christmas and other holiday season cards are also favorites.

For example, the lavender pillow is a wonderful craft that my mother has worked on in the past that also provides soothing scents that are often used in aromatherapy. Once finished, the pillows can be heated up in the microwave. I have found that once the pillows are finished, they're often kept, so then we have to make more to actually give away as gifts! Using fabric glue instead of thread makes creating such pillows much easier and takes the stress away, in more ways than one.

The guys might be more agreeable to working with things found in nature such as painting rocks or creating centerpieces out of pine cones and twigs. Depending on capability, building model airplanes or cars are also a favorite past time. Making homemade birdfeeders is also ideal. These are just a couple of the ideas that can be catered more toward the male crowd.

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Likes Coloring Pages
by: Anonymous

My elderly mother prefers the activity of coloring pages, so it can be quite a challenge getting her to do other things, but I have found that if the items or components of a craft are prepared ahead of time and set in front of her, she's much more willing to give it a try.

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Activities for Elderly Men
by: Anonymous

I have found that most of the crafting activities at my dad's nursing home were catered to the female crowd.

I mentioned as such to the nursing home activity director, and she was wonderful about coming up with a variety of options for men, including painted wood crafts - she even found some old faded fowl decoys that she brought in and had the men paint.

They were thrilled and now those decoys are placed throughout the nursing home and on the property.

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Dad was a Bird Lover
by: Helen

I guess you could call this an elderly activity or craft. My dad was always a bird lover, so once a week, we get together to make homemade birdfeeders out of small and medium-size soda bottles.

After they've been cleaned and dried, Dad fills them with wild bird seed. I help him tie on the string to hang on a tree branch.

Then, using a screwdriver, I punch a hole in the bottom of the bird feeder and Dad inserts a stick for the birds to sit on. He loves it, and he gets special joy out of watching the birds come to feed. Your post made me think of that.

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