There are quite a few easy and simple craft ideas seniors can take part in, even if they have limited dexterity, vision, or other physical or mental limitations. Crafting can allow seniors to express their creativity and feel a sense of accomplishment as well as a sense of belonging, which caters to developing friendships. Seniors that live alone may also find that crafts are an enjoyable way to pass time.
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Crafting also helps to keep the mind stimulated and sharp. Doing crafts that involve using the hands help to exercise these muscles. Just because someone is in an assisted living facility, doesn't mean that they can't enjoy themselves, even during frigid winters. Bad weather just means that more activities would be done in-doors. Working on crafts can help to reduce the risk for depressive episodes among seniors who may experience depression.
Not all craft ideas are suitable for all seniors, but most of them can be modified to suit the needs and abilities of each individual. For example, extremely small items that are difficult to hold or see are not recommended for seniors with disorders that limit their fine motor abilities, or their sight.
Polymer clay drafts are easy, fun, and suitable even for those with limited dexterity. It is possible to make bookmarks, beads, pencil holders, vases, picture frames, and holiday ornaments with this craft material.
Photos and photography are a great way to exercise the mind. Not only is taking pictures fun, but making the photos into crafts is fun as well. Seniors in assisted living facilities can take pictures of their friends, family, and their beautiful surroundings. Pictures can be made into collages, scrapbooks, and even photo magnets.
Other arts and crafts projects great for seniors in assisted living are paintings using large brushes, creating mosaics, plaster canvas art, decoupage, and decorating bird feeders. These are all items that can be kept inside of a seniors living quarters or porch, or can be given to family or friends as gifts.
Seniors can also take part in card making. These cards can be made for birthdays, holidays, or other special occasions. Senior residents in assisted living; can enjoy making and sharing cards amongst each other, especially when there are residents who may not have any family to receive them from.
Floral arranging is a great way to help seniors feel proud of something they created. Floral arrangements can be placed at the entrance of the assisted living facility, or even simply at a communal table. Floral arranging can also be a social event, helping seniors make friends with other residents, asking what type or color flowers they would like to see in the next arrangement. During warm weather days, residents can participate in planting flowers outside of the assisted living facility, beautifying their home.
For seniors that enjoy crafting with fabrics and fibers, needle work may not be a bad idea if it is safe to do so. Alternatives for needles can be glue guns and Velcro. For seniors who enjoy knitting and crocheting, difficulty can come with small needles and thin yarn. Thicker needles and heavier gauge yarn can help to make maneuvering knots and stitches easier. There are also many projects with fleece, such as blankets, that require no sewing at all.