Fall Crafts - Bring the Outdoors In for Elderly Parents
Fall brings with it a wealth of opportunities to encourage Mom or Dad to engage in crafting. Your parent may never have crafted before and may scoff at the idea, but encourage them to participate and before long, you'll see smiles of enjoyment and the pride that results from creating something beautiful out of bits and pieces of cloth, yarn, paper, or even outdoor objects like leaves and twigs.
The fall season is one of the most beautiful of the year, offering tree leaves of deep russets, red, and gold, yellow and orange that can be used in a number of fall-themed crafts.
Collecting such leaves will get Mom or Dad outside, and enjoy the smell of fresh air, loam, and earth. Many seniors are shut up inside or remain indoors for the bulk of their days, and fall crafting ideas can help get them outside more often.
A companion, caregiver or an adult child can go with Mom to collect leaves or with Dad to collect small stones and twigs, using a variety of ambulatory aids such as walkers, canes or wheelchairs as necessary. The important thing is to encourage your parent to get outside, enjoy the feel of sunshine on their face, and become a part of their environment once again.
Fall provides a number of activities and holidays that promote creativity, ideas, and beautiful gifts. As with any other craft, imagination and creativity are key to creating unique and one-of-a-kind gifts.
A thoughtful gift that seniors may enjoy creating for grandchildren include leaf and hand print painted tee shirts. For example, purchase a plain white or pastel colored tee shirt from your local retail or hobby store.
Gather some leaves from outside and a variety of colors of paint used for tee-shirt designing.
Have Mom dip one side of the leaf in paint and press gently into the tee shirt, lifting off carefully. Next, dip Mom's hand into the paint and have her place her hand print on the tee shirt as well.
Small decorations can be made around each to provide an everlasting memento of Grandma or Grandpa that will be enjoyed for years to come.
Remember when Mom used to press flowers or leaves in between the pages of her favorite books or scrapbooks? Encourage Mom to collect and save leaves with a modern twist. Using a special glue-like substance that hardens clear called Mod Podge, Mom can create a natural leaf wreath or string of leaves to use as a home decoration or to help teach grandchildren about different types of trees.
Purchase a bottle of Mod Podge from your local hobby store and pour it into a dish or bowl. Encourage your parent to go outside and choose a variety of fall leaves in different and brilliant colors. Dip the leaves into the Mod Podge and hang them up to dry on a string with a clothespin. After the leaves have dried, string a small piece of yarn or thread through the leaves to create a beautiful wreath or garland.
Another beautiful way to preserve the brilliant color and specter of fall leaves is to glue them to the inside of a jam or jelly jar.
Bring nature and the outdoors inside for your loved one. Even if Mom has been diagnosed with dementia or is unable to get outside, do your best to bring the wilderness inside to her.
Whether your parent lives in a nursing home, an assisted living facility, or at home, be creative and innovative when it comes to giving her something fun and unique to do. Each season offers its own opportunities for holiday craft ideas and paper crafts.
A crafting session every month or on a biweekly basis will help keep Mom engaged, stir her memory, and encourage her brain to create new ideas and memories.
Choose fall crafts ideas that your elderly loved one can do, with or without help, but that won't cause frustration or confusion. Start simple and work your way up from there. Your parent will more than likely remember crafts that she made in her childhood. Encourage that. After all, you're never too old to craft.