Crafts for Parkinson’s patients are great complementary therapy for those suffering from such a debilitating disease.
Parkinson’s disease (1) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects motor function, which may cause problems in an individual’s daily living and affect one’s sense of individuality.
Activities for Parkinson’s patients, such as art therapy, improve their way of life (2) by improving physical symptoms and delaying cognitive impairment.
What are some of the recommended creative activities for Parkinson’s patients that are easy to do that can help improve their motor skills and way of life?
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Origami, otherwise known as the Japanese art of paper folding, is a safe way to encourage patients to maintain their motor skills while creating different works of art.
Check out these simple origami projects.
Painting is an excellent method for self-expression.
It showcases one’s creative pursuit, and for patients with Parkinson’s disease, seeing an art therapist may even help.
Painting is reported to have helped control tremors (3) in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Watercolor is said to be the medium of choice since it requires minimum physical pressure.
Check out this video to see how painting helped one individual fight Parkinson’s disease.
TRY READING: Crafts for Seniors with Low Vision
3. Clay Art
Clay art is considered one form of therapy (4) for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease.
It was shown in a study that clay manipulation was indeed able to improve hand dexterity, mood, and generally the quality of life in persons with Parkinson’s Disease.
Creating a scrapbook is a craft that a person with Parkinson’s Disease can engage in and is also considered an artistic activity. Much like how switch games for elderly individuals provide entertainment and cognitive stimulation, scrapbooking can be an enriching experience.
Creating a scrapbook encourages them to remember and talk about memories they’d want to put in their scrapbook. It keeps them engaged in conversation with other people.
Check out this video for some scrapbook ideas.
Macrame is a craft that uses ropes being formed into knots to create beautiful objects like plant hangers and wall decors.
It’s great for physical therapy.
These can train coordination and dexterity in patients with Parkinson’s Disease.
Learn more about the basic knots that you can use in macrame from this video.
6. Coloring Pictures
Coloring printed pictures is another artsy activity that individuals with Parkinson’s can participate in.
Many coloring pages can be printed out for individuals can use for them to be able to train minor hand movements.
Simple cross-stitch patterns can be a fun and relaxing social activity that can help train minor motor skills in Parkinson’s disease patients.
You can choose patterns that aren’t so complicated to do.
The ones with patterns for beginners can easily be done by anyone with Parkinson’s Disease who would like to get into cross-stitching.
Break out that sewing machine and create a simple project like pillowcases or table runners.
Sewing encourages fine motor skills on your finger, so they don’t stiffen up — a condition commonly felt by many with Parkinson’s Disease.
9. Paper Mache
Creating items using paper mache is relatively easy and can be done by anyone with Parkinson’s Disease.
Coordination, as well as fine motor skills, can be honed using paper mache techniques.
You can easily create anything from masks to bowls or practically any decorative item you can think of.
They are relatively easy to make; even a child can do it.
10. Recycled Paper Basket Weaving
This is another relatively easy project to make using paper strips from recycled paper. Other than that, you will be using some glue or tape to finish.
11. Marbling Bottles
Create lovely marbled bottles using nail polish. This easy-to-do project is excellent for creating decorative bottles that you can use as flower vases or even candy jars.
12. Latch Hook
Latch hook projects make use of precut yarns and a mesh.
The simple, repetitive motion uses fine and ordinary motor skills to create rugs or even simple wall decors.
13. Balloon Stamping
Use different kinds of balloons and some paint to create wonderfully designed cards and even wall decors.
Holding balloons and using them as stamps encourages the individual to be creative while encouraging controlled movement.
Check out this video on how to do balloon stamping.
Can painting help Parkinson’s?
Yes. Painting can be very relaxing, and it can also encourage creativity. More than dexterity and fine motor skills are trained during painting.
Does Parkinson’s Disease get cured?
Sadly, no. Crafts are encouraged to improve on some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease but not altogether remove them.
Parkinson’s Disease is a debilitating disease that affects an individual’s motor skills.
It may hamper an individual from engaging in physical activities in its advanced stages.
Crafts for Parkinson’s patients are considered complementary therapies recommended to delay the progression of symptoms, making the individual feel that he has lost his sense of control.
These creative pursuits can significantly relieve the patient of emotional stress and encourage social interaction when done in groups.
All these benefits are meant to improve their physical and psychological well-being.
What are your favorite crafts for seniors who have Parkinson’s? Please share below!
- 1. National Institute on Aging. Parkinson’s Disease [Internet]. National Institute on Aging. 2017. Available from: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/parkinsons-disease#:~:text=Parkinson
- 2. Art Therapy to Improve Parkinson’s Symptoms [Internet]. ParkinsonsDisease.net. 2018. Available from: https://parkinsonsdisease.net/research-studies/art-therapy
- 3. Art Therapy for People Living with Parkinson’s [Internet]. Davis Phinney Foundation. 2017. Available from: https://davisphinneyfoundation.org/art-therapy/
- 4. Bae Y-S, Kim D-H. The Applied Effectiveness of Clay Art Therapy for Patients With Parkinson’s Disease. Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine. 2018;23:2515690X1876594.