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Christmas Activities for Seniors in Care
Crafts for Seniors with Alzheimer's and Other Dementia
Crafts for seniors provide more than just something to do for a while; they give them an outlet for creativity, expression and stimulation too. Many seniors in adult day centers, long term care facilities and assisted living have degenerative conditions that limit their ability for creativity and individual expression otherwise. Under the leading hand of an activity professional watching out for their well-being and aware of their need for stimulation, a senior can discover, or rediscover, the pleasure of crafts.
Later stage Alzheimer's and dementia can steal from the elderly an active interest in the materials and means of expressing emotion or perspective through artistic elements. These diseases can even rob them of the awareness of a world beyond themselves. Their world becomes smaller and smaller as a result, which can only add to their frustration and sense of isolation.
When an activity professional can lead a senior in care to the sensation of wet clay sliding through their fingers, the texture of gritty sand against their skin, shiny paint in primary colors depicting a blue sky and yellow sun, their world is enlarged and they are again taken beyond themselves.
Many sensory activities and crafts for seniors can lend themselves to therapy like this. For seniors that benefit from sensory crafts, some of the craft materials to use are:
Various activities that help an elderly person with dexterity, coordination, mind and memory stimulation and creativity would be:
There are craft kits that can be purchased suitable to various activity and participation levels that offer all of the needed materials for the making of some crafts. Templates can then be put together without needing to be premade or shaped. Everyone involved can begin from the same place with all the necessary materials that can then be embellished for personalization at that point.
Craft kits that can be found for this purpose range from piggy banks and birdhouses to be painted, and teddy bears to be sewn together, to sun catchers and coasters, party favours, flower pots and picture frames to be glued and decorated.
Many children's craft activities can be modified to suit the elderly and this can then make some crafts simple rather than childish. If some crafts are too difficult and involved, a senior who may already struggle with remembering some relatively simple everyday tasks, may become increasingly frustrated. If the required exercise is beyond their ability level, they will also become quickly disinterested.
When using crafts for seniors to occupy or entertain an elderly person, it is in the best interest of the senior, as well as the person helping, to target the activity to the seniors ability level, their interest and their therapeutic need. Prepare to be delighted with their excitement when it is an activity that stimulates their interest and properly invites their participation.
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