Holiday Crafts such as Christmas Stocking Knitting Pattern and Christmas Cards

by Susan
(Austin, TX)

After my 78-year old mom was diagnosed with vascular dementia, I worried about her ability to continue doing the things that she loved, most especially holiday crafts and elderly activities.

My mom was one of those people who could learn a new craft such as knitting using such things as a Christmas stocking knitting pattern, crocheting, scrapbooking, and even quilting without so much as batting an eye. She had been crafting for years, ever since I could remember.

Now, I worried that she might forget how to do them, or how I could help her with her crafts without making her feel embarrassed that she couldn't remember all the steps anymore.

My wondering turned to reality just last week when Mom broached the topic of Christmas craft ideas including Christmas cards that she had done in the past. Mom always made all her own Christmas cards, and one of her favorite post-Thanksgiving activities was going to the local craft store and choosing her paper, stamps, and those little gee-gaws that you could glue on the cards.

I was more than happy that my mom expressed interest in crafting the cards, but grew increasingly alarmed after we walked into the craft store and Mom’s confusion regarding all the choices seemed to overwhelm her.

I had read up on vascular dementia, which interferes with decision-making processes. Therefore, before Mom grew too anxious, I began to pick up, for example, two packages of paper and asking her which she preferred. There were dozens of varieties on the racks, but there were too many choices, leading to her increased agitation.

I found that as I walked down the aisles, and already knowing pretty much what she already liked, I would pick up two choices and then ask which she preferred. This seemed to help reduce her stress and anxiety and made her shopping excursion more pleasurable.

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Instead of Christmas Crochet and Knitting Patterns
by: Anonymous

My Aunt used to do crochet and Christmas knitting for all types of Christmas tree ornaments. She's forgotten how to do that, so I thought it would be a good idea to try something else.

What I've done is to gather a handful of holiday magazines and together we went through them page by page, picking out pictures of Christmas related objects such as presents, candy canes, and so forth...(kind of like Christmas scrapbooking at the same time).

I helped her cut them out, and then we glued them onto cardboard and strung with yarn. Turned out to be a nice substitute for the crocheted ornaments she used to make!

So Loving!
by: Anonymous

Hi Susan,
Your story warmed my heart. Your mom is so fortunate to have you as her daughter and crafting partner!

My mom is a weaver and as long as I keep her loom warped for her she can still weave a nice selvage. It is very hard to watch her struggle to remember how to weave sometimes but I show her again and sit patiently by her side until it comes back to her.

Thank you for the nice Christmas time story!
m-santa rosa Ca

Scrapbook Layout Ideas
by: Anonymous

You have good ideas there....I did something similar with my grandmother. She's got Alzheimer's sometime ago and also liked to scrapbook. This year, however, she seemed to not know where to start.

For scrapbooking supplies I gave Grandma about a dozen photographs and asked her to pick out one or two that she really liked, while I worked on the actual scrapbook pages with other scrapbook stuff.

For each page, I also gave her choices when it came to what she wanted on them. That made it not only easier for her to make a decision, but gave us both some excellent bonding opportunities as well as laughs.

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