A Bounty of Fun Crafts to Do With Seniors
Spring is in the air, and the weather may not yet be exactly perfect for outdoor activities with your senior loved one. But the turning of the season can bring a sense of restlessness to many of us, even those experiencing Alzheimer’s or dementia caused by other conditions. With all this in mind, it’s important to remember that seniors experiencing dementia need to engage with life in some meaningful and active way, just as the rest of us do.
While seniors with dementia may or may not be in a position to work or enjoy the activities that they once used to, they can still get a sense of accomplishment and purpose from working on something special. For many seniors experiencing dementia, crafts and crafting are an excellent outlet for pent up energy, and a meaningful way to engage in something ongoing and special. Here are four terrific ideas for spring craft projects that you can work on with your senior loved one coping with dementia.
1 – Flower Arranging and Elder Care
It’s the perfect season for breaking out the vases and the flower frogs and doing a little flower arranging. This spring craft project can be as complex or as simple as the senior loved one whom you are tailoring it to.
Seniors who still enjoy getting outside or working in the garden can select their own flowers to work with at a local shop or florist, or even grow and/or cut their own flowers for arrangements. Seniors needing a little more assistance can have flowers cut for them and work with arranging them for display on their own or with help.
2 – Sculpting and Seniors
Like flower arranging, sculpting can be a very simple and easy activity to do with your senior, or it can be a complex, life-long pursuit. In the end, it’s just a question of ability, available materials, and drive.
So, depending on your senior’s unique situation, you could work with easy materials as simple as clay or homemade or purchased play dough; intermediate materials and techniques like papier mache; or more demanding and exacting sculpting like carving. And, the wonderful thing about sculpting is that it can be returned to day after day, until a work is complete.
3 – Grandma Always Loved Baking…
Another lovely activity for many seniors to participate in is baking. Baking, like sculpting and flower arrangement, can be tailored as an activity to the interest, abilities, and needs of each individual senior.
Some seniors may require more assistance than others, but seniors of just about all skill-levels and abilities can participate in making a batch of cookies or fresh-baked rolls. And, they get to participate in eating and sharing the results of their efforts, too!
4 – Less Complex Tasks for Some Seniors
Not all seniors experiencing dementia or Alzheimer’s will retain the ability that may be needed to participate in the crafts listed above, but that does not mean that there are no crafts for them to take part in.
In fact, simple tasks may be just the ticket for seniors experiencing more profound dementia. For these seniors, sorting tasks and matching tasks can be a great way to wile away a spring afternoon as you spend some time in each other’s company.
Spring Crafts for Seniors of All Ages and Abilities
This is a short list of craft ideas to enjoy with seniors experiencing Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Seniors can often participate in some way in just about any craft activity, and by doing so, improve and maintain their quality of life through engagement.
We all need to feel like we’re doing something, and crafts can help to provide a sense of purpose to those who may not have the ability to engage with life in the way they once did. Try one of these ideas with your senior this spring.