Sunday, September 23, 2012
As people grow older they begin to lose their abilities to engage in much of the house and garden work that gave them satisfaction during their younger years. When that happens, they meed to develop new hobbies to keep them occupied—activities that do not require them to be up and about all the time. Here are some of the best craft hobbies for senior citizens.
Scrapbooking is one of the best activities for the elderly. You can attach photographs of their grandchildren—or of themselves when they were younger—to a piece of card stock that has been glued to scrapbook pages. To make each page more interesting, you can also use rubber stamps, stickers, ribbons, cutouts or other embellishments on each page. You can even create captions for each photograph and include inspirational verses that have special meaning for your elderly. A scrapbook can be a way of making somebody’s last years pleasant because they enable them to relieve many of their fondest memories. As Simon & Garfunkel fondly sang in “Bookends Theme,” “Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you.”
A similar way of collecting memories is the photo tray—a wooden tray lined with decoupage medium to which you can attach photographs. You can also make a collage by cutting out the faces from photo prints and arranging them on the tray in a creative way. It should be noted here that some old folks prefer to use a brush or a sponge to stain the tray rather than spray it.
One excellent idea for those who live in nursing homes involves the use of crayons to make items to decorate the occupants’ rooms. You take crayons that have been broken, melt them in the microwave, and pour the liquid into molds made from chocolate wrappers, which are removed after the crayons have cooled off. With these you can make all kinds of shapes to represent various themes, such as the holidays.
Sharing the holiday spirit—especially the Christmas spirit—is a big way of helping the elderly. You can make holiday cards for or with them to remind them that you still cherish them as part of your life. Making things that they can give away can also increase their self-esteem because they may not be able to afford to buy gifts for people anymore.
Those among the elderly who have become handicapped as a result of age or disease can also derive pleasure from special things designed for them. Finger painting, for instance, is perfect for those who are suffering from arthritis to the point where they can no longer use a brush. Molding clay is good even for those who can no longer make full use of their fingers. Things that can be made include beads, bowls, trays and vases. Play dough, being messier and also more colorful, is often a better alternative to clay.
Mosaics are puzzles made from a set of abstract pieces that can be grouped by color, shape or both. Unlike with the conventional puzzle, where you put together pieces in a fixed form to form a definite picture, in a mosaic you can arrange the pieces in basically any form to make your own unique pattern. This too is an activity that the elderly can enjoy. You might also consider putting together paper cutout mosaics.
Old ladies who used to take pleasure out of sewing and knitting can continue to do so into their later years and projects can be adjusted to suit their abilities. If they can still see well and have the use of their fingers, they can sew or knit just as they did before. If not, then try something like beading or using plastic canvas.
One last thing the elderly can enjoy is taking photographs of things that take place in their nursing homes. These pictures can be put into scrapbooks.
It only takes a few simple things to give your aging parents and grandparents something to enjoy. You and your children, too, will take great pleasure from taking part in these activities. Many people like to do volunteer work in hospitals and nursing homes that involves the things just described.
Grace Kelly is an Assisted Living blogger helping people find the best home for their loved ones. Most recently working with families looking for Memphis, TN Assisted Living.
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Jessica is the writer behind Sweet Southern Mama. She is the mother of 2 adorable kids- Aidan, 7 and Adisyn, 5. She lives in Kentucky with her fiance and kids. She loves designing blogs, reading, writing, crafting, all things electronic, photography, and spending time with her family.