March is National Crafting Month. There are many benefits to crafting, and in this article, you will learn more about the psychosocial benefits of crafting, different types of crafts, how to craft/why to craft, and how Baxter Senior Living can help you with the crafting process and foster positive socialization and memories.

What Is Crafting?

Crafts are “activities that involve skill in making things by hand.” Crafting has been used as a therapy for soldiers returning from war to help take their minds off of the stresses for the day and to give them skills and things that they can do with their hands. When you get caught up in the flow of activity, whether it be knitting, cutting pieces out for a scrapbook, or folding paper for origami: it helps with the passage of time, keeps you focused, and can slow the aging process down in the brain to prevent and reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Art therapy has been studied in many cases with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients with a lot of success. Dementia and Alzheimer’s care and assisted living residents in Alaska can benefit from crafting because it engages your brain, keeps your hands busy, provides you with socialization, and solidifies your sense of purpose.

Some Great Ideas For Senior Living Crafts

There are many different types of crafts, and they include:

  • Knitting/Crocheting
  • Sewing
  • Painting/Paint by Numbers
  • Rock Art
  • Ornament decoration
  • All-season wreath decor
  • Bracelet/Jewelry Making
  • Scrapbooking
  • Origami
  • Flower Arrangements
  • Home-made instruments

How To Craft

The great part about crafting is having the ability for you to create something for yourself. Most materials and supplies are relatively cheap, and they create tangible memories that you can look back upon years from now. Colored paper, markers, scissors, pipe cleaners, stickers, play-doh, and crayons make for a good start to develop your crafting skills, but you can use anything to craft. The main goal of crafting is to make something with your hands, but it can also become a representation of yourself, your culture, your family, etc… Crafting can be very meaningful to Alaska’s senior living residents.

Crafting also involves another critical ingredient: other people. Whether you’re with your tablemates after lunch, your family is visiting for the holidays, or your grandchildren are wanting to take you out for a day those are great times to craft. Having other people to participate in these activities are crucial to the crafting process in order to provide you with a holistic experience. This allows you to socialize with your peers, engage your mind with recent family news, and you all have something to take away from the day.

Why You Should Craft

One of the first benefits you should know about with crafting is that it reduces stress. Diversion therapy is the technical term, but through crafting, instead of worrying about coping with daily life struggles that Alaskan seniors face, you can set aside a portion of time to sit down and complete a project. That could mean using paint to create a beautiful sunset, or knitting and purling to produce a lengthy sweater for the winter coming up. Crafts don’t have to be solely keepsake items, they can in some cases be useful.

Another benefit of crafting is becoming a happier person, even if it is just during the duration of the craft. For that moment you were happy. Crafting is liberating, self-led, and you become the leader for your own project. The crafts themselves can also invoke a sense of joy, some examples include: festive scrapbooking pages with sparkly snowflakes and smiling faces of your grandchildren scattered around, clothespin creatures, and dancing Leprechaun coloring pages.

An additional benefit of crafting is pain relief. While those that experience chronic pain might not have much success with medicinal and other medical treatments, crafting gives you the ability to distract yourself, and have your brain focus on something other than the pain. It has also been found to help those with anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions as well.

Lastly, crafts help Alaskan seniors to become life-long learners, to motivate you, and provide you with an enhanced sense of purpose. As seniors age, they are more likely to develop depression due to isolation, and without a sense of purpose. Crafts are one of the plentiful opportunities that Baxter Senior Living offers in order to give you that sense of belonging, community, and purpose. Crafts are educational activities that test your dexterity and can help you learn to make something from nothing. You get to take inanimate objects and give them life. Many of our residents get excited about crafts and look forward to coming and seeing what we have planned for the day, and you can join as well!

How Baxter Senior Living Caregivers And Staff Can Help You Craft

For National Craft Month, and every other month of the year Baxter Senior Living provides residents with all of the tools and resources that they need. Whether that means a stamping set or some extra brushes the activities department has access to it all. Crafting Corner activities are held frequently throughout the month; residents always enjoy sitting with each other and making something together. Baxter Senior Living provides all of the space for these activities, and if you wanted to partake in an activity independently we can arrange for that as well.

Baxter Senior Living also believes in fostering an environment for socialization. During activities, residents will be interacting and having fun with each other in a positive, and relaxing environment. Caregivers also attend these events in order to enhance the experience by providing the most quality care, and expertise that they can offer in the realm of crafting. We can have caregivers meet you at your door to bring you to activities, and sit with you one on one to ensure the best crafting experience possible. c