Regardless of age, creativity is for everyone! We all know the lasting effects arts and crafts have on children, but the same positive mental and physical benefits also apply to seniors. How do creative activities like scrapbooking, jewelry-making, pottery, and painting, keep everyone’s mind and body sharp? From strengthening fine motor skills to relieving stress and socializing, here are the 6 benefits of staying creative at every age!
1. Improves Stem Esteem
Everyone likes doing things for themselves, but with age, oftentimes people need to rely on someone else for help. This restriction can lower self-esteem for those who are used to being independent. A positive mindset and self-love are crucial for everyone’s mental health. Painting colorful ceramics with Creative Roots™, like our friends pictured, is proof that you don’t always need rain to make a rainbow — just someone to create with! Painting freely is a great way to boost self-esteem and provide a sense of accomplishment!
2. Reduces Stress
Did you know that fun craft projects, like scrapbooking and painting, can lower blood pressure and the risk of depression and anxiety? That’s right, focusing attention on a cathartic activity helps calm the mind. Stress relief is important for older people with health issues, like heart conditions or high blood pressure — and setting aside time to focus on a craft is especially therapeutic. So, set up a canvas and brush the worries away!
3. Strengthens Cognitive Function
School and work assignments help to keep our memories in shape, but during retirement, it can be difficult to find those opportunities. Likewise, seniors living with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other mental diseases have a tough time with memory association. Spending an afternoon with crafts that stimulate the mind, like paint-by-numbers and jewelry-making, can help improve visual processing and other cognitive functions. Crafts that include different colors and numbers will exercise the mind in a creative way!
4. Increases Blood Flow
Arm and hand dexterity are important for everyday functions; however, conditions like arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome can make typical movements painful. Seniors living with chronic pain need to participate in fine motor activities to increase blood flow into the hands and fingers. Movements like cutting paper, braiding bracelets, or painting canvases can offer pain relief and the incomparable feeling of making something beautiful by hand!
5. Reinvigorates the Senses
Skin sensitivity can restrict aging adults from using hard materials. Create a comfortable and inclusive environment for all crafters by offering supplies like foam, glitter, poms, and fuzzy sticks — these give everyone a chance to experience different textures and senses! Or, switch up the activity and introduce hands-on crafts, like sculpting air-dry Mixy Squish™ or spinning clay creations on a pottery wheel!
6. Cultivates Social Interaction
You’re never too old to make new friends! Loneliness is a common feeling among seniors, so it’s important to find ways to bring people together for social events and share some laughs. Connecting through creativity is a perfect way to meet new people, catch up with longtime friends, and make memories — bring some Craft Project Ideas to your next get together!
The mental and physical health benefits of getting creative never age! Spread the word that creativity is for everyone by sending homemade cards to a local senior center, crafting with your grandparents, or donating craft materials to an older neighbor. No matter your age, share your favorite ways to connect through creativity with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — tag @horizongroupusa!