senior and caregiver putting puzzle together senior and caregiver putting puzzle together

Seniors and Crafting: Grab Your Glue Stick and Boost Your Brain Power

Although March is most famous for St. Patrick’s Day, it is also known as National Crafting Month. But, just like you don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, you don’t have to be an artist to enjoy crafting. So get crafty, and you might just boost your brain power at the same time!

Why Is Crafting Good for Seniors?

National Crafting Month was designated in 1994 by the Craft and Hobby Association, now called the Association for Creative Industries. According to the organization, the purpose of the month is “to help individuals discover their hidden creativity and introduce Americans to outlets they hadn’t tried before.”

In addition to helping individuals find their creativity, research tells us that crafting can boost our brain power, improve our well-being, and much more. Art therapy can benefit people of all ages, especially seniors who may feel lonely or lack a sense of purpose. The hobby also helps them maintain cognitive and motor skills, express creativity, and occupy their time. Craft activities can also be a great way for older adults to spend time with grandchildren!

According to research noted by SeniorLiving.org, in addition to just being fun, crafting offers seniors several health benefits, including the following:

  • Therapeutic benefits for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Art therapy reduces anxiety, relieves feelings of isolation, and can bring about a general feeling of happiness.
  • Managing depression. Crafting can allow the brain to release dopamine, a natural antidepressant.
  • Building confidence and a sense of accomplishment.
  • Bringing seniors together. It’s always helpful to make new friends and share interests.

Clinician Kim Nguyen at Diversus Health says creativity can put us in a flow state or what is often called being “in the zone”—a time when we become more mindful and relaxed. Do you remember your mother or other loved one softly humming and deep in concentration over her knitting? She was likely in the zone.

Finding the Right Craft for You

A craft is anything you make with your hands. Crafts range from activities that do not require training or special skills—like coloring in an adult coloring book or baking and decorating cookies—to those that require specialized skills, such as knitting, crocheting or woodturning.

If you or your loved one has never crafted, you may wonder what craft might be enjoyable. For a wealth of ideas, hop on the internet and do a search. Here are some websites to find a craft you’ll enjoy:

If you are looking for suggestions for craft supplies, check out these websites:

How Right at Home Can Help

Right at Home’s professionally trained caregivers provide services that promote healthy living and well-being through social interaction. Caregivers provide wellness support, meal preparation, light housekeeping, mobility assistance, hygiene services, and transportation to help seniors maintain social interactions. If you are interested in speaking with someone to find out more, use our location finder to get the phone number of the office nearest you.

Marsha Johns, blog author

Marsha Johns is a veteran health care marketer and award-winning writer. She strives to make medical topics understandable and relatable for all readers.

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