As your loved ones get older, retire, and possibly move to new communities, they may not have as many opportunities to get out and socialise as they did in their younger years.
It will also be harder for them to keep active, and both are very important to their physical and mental health.
Isolation is extremely common in the older population. And the end result could be detrimental to your loved one’s mental health and cognitive functioning. By better understanding the risks of social isolation and taking proactive measures to combat it, you can help your elderly family members enjoy their golden years.
Many of today’s seniors seek adventure, plenty of stimulation, and a chance to learn something new. So, help them get their groove back by keeping them occupied with activities and crafts.
How to Help Seniors Find Purpose in Life
Quality of life comes from engaging in enjoyable activities. Purpose can be found in the things you enjoy doing, the things that make you want to get out of bed in the morning.
Seniors may be happier, on average, because of the wisdom they acquire through life experience, according to a Stanford University study in Psychology and Aging.
As we grow older, we tend to become more emotionally stable. And that translates into longer, more productive lives that offer more benefits than problems, said Laura Carstensen, the study’s lead author.
“As people age, they’re more emotionally balanced and better able to solve highly emotional problems,” said Carstensen, a psychology professor and director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. “We may be seeing a larger group of people who can get along with a greater number of people. They care more and are more compassionate about problems, and that may lead to a more stable world.”
One thing many older people miss is a sense of purpose and of accomplishment. Getting involved in crafting is perfect because it involves both the mental and the physical. In many cases it is also an activity that can be shared, even with grandchildren.
From painting and knitting to woodworking and scrapbooking. Being engaged in hands-on creative activities can improve motor skills, strengthen social connections, reduce stress, and alleviate anxiety. It can also be good for the brain.
A research study in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences found that seniors who participated in crafts like pottery and knitting had a lower risk of developing mild cognitive impairment.
And in a Psychological Science study, seniors who learned how to quilt or do digital photography showed improved memory function.
Crafting is Good
So, making crafts may be a great way to keep their brains stimulated and cognitive abilities enhanced.
Plus, many seniors who have physical limitations can still experience the joys of crafting by adapting the activities or using special equipment. For example, older adults who like to knit can use larger needles and thicker wool.
Those who enjoy woodworking but have difficulty standing can sit at a table and assemble projects from kits.
Painting mugs, assembling models, drawing and painting, making cards. Here are some examples of easy crafts for senior citizens. (All these projects have printable instructions as well).
Household Plastic is big on crafts as well as a wide selection of kits, puzzles and a range of craft supplies.