Crafts for Seniors


Authored by Donna Johnson in Crafts 
Published on 11-09-2009

For many senior citizens, finding ways to occupy their time after retiring can be rather difficult. This is especially true for seniors in assisted living homes or seniors whose physical capabilities have declined over the years. But there are many different crafts seniors can do to pass the time.

The most important thing to consider when choosing crafts for seniors is the fact that you are dealing with grown people. Despite the fact that they may not be as dexterous as they were in their younger years, they are adults. Therefore, you must be careful to choose craft projects that are not too childish, to avoid insulting the seniors.

The easiest seniors to choose crafts for are those who have done a particular craft before. For these people, you can choose an easier version of their craft for them to try. For example, a senior who used to enjoy crocheting doilies with fine crochet thread and small crochet hooks may no longer be able to do so due to declining vision or arthritis. She may, however, still be able to work with regular or chunky yarn and a larger crochet hook. This senior may find she enjoys crocheting larger projects like afghans or slippers, or even crocheted Christmas stockings for her grandchildren. Seniors who enjoyed cross stitching in the past may still be able to enjoy this craft with larger fabric counts and a good magnifier or set of magnifying eyeglasses.

For seniors who are living on a fixed budget, personalized crafts are a great idea. Items like Christmas ornaments, custom greeting cards, or personalized picture frames make great gifts for any family member and any occasion. Most importantly for anyone on a fixed budget, homemade gifts are much less expensive than store bought ones.

Seniors who need to do physical therapy can also benefit from certain crafts. Sculpting with clay is a good example of such a therapeutic craft. It will help the senior regain strength and movement in her fingers and hands. Working in clay can also improve or help to maintain hand-eye coordination. Many types of clay can be used to make items that can then be baked in a regular oven to harden them permanently. The items can then be painted, another craft that will help to improve or maintain hand-eye coordination. Such finished clay items can be also be given as gifts.

Even seniors who are no longer physically able to do anything more than the most basic of crafts may still enjoy such crafts when they are paired with their grandchildren. Painting clay flowerpots or making collages from magazines will be a way for the senior to pass her time and also spend some quality fun time with her grandchildren.

Finally, allow the senior herself to suggest some crafts she might be interested in taking up again or trying for the first time. She will know better than anyone else what type of crafts she would enjoy and is capable of doing. If you take a senior’s particular interests and levels of physical and mental capability into consideration when choosing crafts, you can easily find the perfect craft for each person to do.


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