Elderly Activities – Crafts that Stimulate and Entertain
Elderly Activities - Many of us enjoy hobbies, whether it's reading, painting, playing music, fitting puzzles, or working with clay or wood. Who says such activities have to end when we get old? Craft activities are one of the best ways to stimulate and entertain seniors during all phases of the aging process. Games, crafts and activities keep seniors involved in social groups and interactions and help to prevent boredom.
Children of elderly parents as well as caregivers need to maintain perspective when it comes to aging. For example, how would you feel if you were required to sit in a limited space every day without any activities or things to keep you occupied, interested and away from endless boredom? Elderly activities help engage the mind, stimulate brain cells, and provide very necessary interaction and communication with others.
Many crafts, such as painting and playing music, help maintain eye and hand coordination and encourage stimulation of electrical impulses in the brain that offer pleasure to those engaging in pleasant and enjoyable activities.
When an elderly parent has nothing to do, psychological devastation can follow. Such individuals often feel worthless and bored, and soon lose self-esteem and confidence.
Whether your elderly parent likes to play the harmonica or the piano, or draw, paint, or knit, always try to find activities and crafts that will help your parent stay engaged and interested in life. While some seniors have difficulty performing certain tasks because of poor hand and eye coordination, arthritis, or shortened attention spans, finding crafts or activities that offer seniors some stimulation and entertainment is vital for quality of life.
For elderly parents still living at home, crafts such as woodworking often stimulate creativity and concentration. Whether Dad is whittling a toy horse or building a birdhouse, the benefits of achievement and the pride of accomplishment share with the benefits of continued concentration, thinking skills, motor movements, and most importantly, interest.
Seniors who like to knit or crochet may find holding the needles or hooks difficult, but knitting needles and crochet hooks are made in larger sizes, which may make it easier for Mom to continue with her hobby. Seniors who can no longer hold knitting needles or crochet hooks may find enjoyment in teaching others the craft.
Many seniors have also gotten involved in scrap booking, which is a fantastic way to stimulate memory, and encourage interaction with others. Scrap booking encourages any individual to use imagination to design creative and attractive scrapbook pages. Scrap booking incorporates a multitude of skills that enhance motor movement, hand-eye coordination and ample stimulation of brain cells.
Creating mosaics with colored paper, tiles, or other materials offers enhanced benefits to seniors diagnosed with various forms of dementia. The colors and shapes of mosaic pieces serve to stimulate brain cells and encourage prolonged interest in arranging pieces into endless designs.
Unfortunately, due to budget constraints, many children of elderly parents as well as caregivers in long-term care facilities have limited arts and crafts activity choices for residents. While some residents in such facilities enjoy coloring, it's not an appropriate age-related elderly activity that generates and encourages dignity and self-respect. The key to such elderly activities is to encourage seniors to participate in seasonal or holiday decoration preparation, where coloring, painting, or using markers is certainly appropriate, but not to make a daily habit of it when coloring limits any other type of desirable activity.
Finding creative ways to stimulate minds with elderly activities requires caregivers to take some time and make the effort to ensure that mental stimulation and pleasure is gained from any activity. This doesn't mean your elderly parent has to engage in them, but that the option is present. Give your parent a choice of elderly activities, and continually strive to offer those that promote thought processing, interaction with others, and fine motor skills whenever possible.
It is the responsibility of children of elderly parents as well as caregivers in retirement homes or long-term care facilities to do their best to make sure that seniors are able to engage in a wide variety of arts and crafts and other elderly activities. Whether that activity is weaving baskets or furniture or building birdhouses or assembling models, it is our responsibility to keep our seniors active and participating in crafts that maintain eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills, interests, and stimulation in order to enhance brain cell development and quality of life.