A vast number of nations are facing an aging population as a result of ever-evolving medical and technological developments. While this is unquestionably a positive trend, having a significant proportion of the population who is older implies that you’ll need extra activities to keep them occupied aside from the standard care they receive. Some individuals like to participate in new sports to stay fit and active, while others prefer to engage in arts and crafts to express their creativity and unwind their thoughts. However, when you think of mature people, crafting isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind. However, it is a popular pastime that also has some health advantages!
For those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, crafting is a sort of art therapy that also helps with emotions of loneliness and anxiety. It can aid in the treatment of depression, increase self-confidence, and provide possibilities for sociability. Crafting may keep you occupied in a variety of ways, and the outcomes will always leave you delighted and fulfilled. Embroidery, crocheting, and knitting have the greatest participation percentages of all the arts. Here are even more ways how crafting for the elderly can help improve mental health.
It Alleviates Anxiety
Since the beginning of occupational therapy in the late 19th century, patients have been prescribed craft classes, with basketry being used to ease anxiety and physical illnesses in troops during World War I. They are still used today, with many organizations dedicated to the mental health of veterans, offering ceramic workshops.
Participants in arts on prescription seminars report a considerable improvement in overall well-being as a result of reduced nervousness, tension, and anxiety. Baking, knitting, and gardening, despite their apparent differences, all have qualities that make them good for self-care. All of these activities aid in the improvement of mood and the reduction of stress.
Due to their repetition, the exercises have a meditative effect, but they also require focus and attention, which can provide a beneficial respite from other concerns. These restorative practices can help us participate in mindfulness, keeping us in the present moment, in addition to engaging all of our senses.
It Helps to Bring People Together
A ‘knit and natter’ group, for example, is one example of a connecting activity given by the community and voluntary organizations, according to one report. Another study found that arts-based programs can help marginalized mature adults become more involved in their communities and that arts-based participatory action research led by migrant mature adults can help generate optimism and vision for the future.
Beneficial Relationship Between Craft and Cognitive Abilities
Basket spatial making and gestural practices are vital for the development of cognitive skills in hospitals. Specifically, a study published in the British Medical Journal on community engagement and dementia risk suggests that community engagement, particularly cultural activities, may reduce the risk of dementia onset, while a study published in The Gerontologist looks at how arts activities may benefit people with dementia. Dementia sufferers may therefore benefit from craft activities.