10 Easy Crafts That Seniors With Dementia Will Love making

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If you’re looking for easy crafts for seniors with dementia, I’ve got you covered!

Keeping senior citizens mentally alert is necessary to help maintain cognitive function, and crafting is a great way to do just that.

There are so many easy crafts that don’t really require a ton of supplies, and those that you do need are easily found in a local craft store.

Here are some creative crafts for seniors that I highly recommend.

10 Easy Crafts for Seniors With Dementia

#1 Painted Beads

For this easy craft, just buy some wood beads that are large enough to be painted on and some acrylic paints.

Painting is a wonderful form of art therapy [1]!

If your senior doesn’t have the manual dexterity to do it anymore -which is common with arthritic hands [2]- you can also put the beads in containers filled with paint.

Simply shake the container so the beads get coated with it.

This video shows an easy way of painting wooden beads that can be used to make costume jewelry. Allow them to dry and then string them using leather or suede cords.

Check More: Exciting Crafts for People With Arthritis

#2 Scrapbooking

This is another activity that can be done using different kinds of materials like old magazines, colored paper, glue, and a pair of BLUNT scissors.

Collect different kinds of memorabilia and get as creative as you can get!

Here’s a quick video to give you some ideas about how to start a scrapbooking project.

CHECK MORE: Crafts for Senior Citizens in Nursing Homes

#3 Upcycling Glass Containers

Glass jars are good materials to use for upcycling. With a bit of paint, you can color glass jars or create designs on them.

Use beads, ribbons, and some hot glue so you can create jars with a rustic touch. They even make great gifts for the holiday season!

Check this video to get an idea about how you can upcycle old glass jars.

#4 Flower Arranging

A simple vase and a bunch of flowers from the nearest florist or flower gardens can add atmosphere to a room.

It’s also a good way for a senior with dementia to pass away the time. Getting florist foam can help in keeping the flowers in place and make them easier to arrange.

This video can give you some of the basics that you have to know about flower arrangement and the rest is up to you.

Check: Crafts for Seniors With Shaky Hands

#5 Watercolor Painting

Like I said above, art therapy is one great way to provide mental stimulation in seniors with dementia.

Even simple paint brushes, watercolor, and paper will do to stimulate those creative juices.

This video shows how seniors with dementia can benefit from simple painting activities.

#6 Adult Coloring Books

coloring book

There are many coloring books that are being sold now that have different designs that can be used to challenge seniors through a fun activity.

Amazon has a wide array of coloring books specially designed for seniors with dementia that you can choose from.

There are also sites online that offer coloring pages designed for seniors with dementia that you can print for free [3].

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#7 Playing with Homemade Play Dough

Making playdough from scratch using everyday stuff from the pantry is a good way to keep creative ideas going. All that you need is flour, water, oil, and salt.

You can add drops of food coloring using your favorite colors for added fun. Click on the video for the homemade playdough recipe. 

#8 Making Homemade Clay Items

Using practically the same materials as homemade play dough, you can make your own clay ornaments like small trinkets or decors.

Here is a good video, complete with a recipe for making homemade clay, as well as projects that you can make using your homemade clay.

#9 Paper Flowers

Instead of using real flowers for your flower arrangement, you can try making paper flowers using colored paper, tissue paper, or crepe paper.

You’ll also need blunt scissors and probably some very thin wire for the stem. 

Here’s a video of some really easy paper flowers using colored paper that can be made using simple folds and cuts.

#10 Making a Knotted Fleece Blanket

Knotted fleece blankets are great to make and to give out as gifts for the winter holidays. They don’t require any sewing at all.

You just need fleece cloth and a pair of scissors to make something that can be quite useful during the cold season.

Check out this video here for the instructions on how to make a warm knotted fleece blanket.

FAQs

Is it a good idea to have seniors with dementia to engage in crafts?

senior man sewing some easy crafts for seniors with dementia

Having seniors, especially those with dementia, engage in crafts is quite beneficial for them. These can be social activities that will encourage social engagement as part of their daily activities.
Engaging in crafts also is beneficial for their physical health since engaging in crafts has been observed to improve hormone levels and heart function in aging individuals.

What are the things to remember when recommending crafts to seniors with dementia?

The most important thing to remember when recommending an activity to seniors with dementia is safety
Seniors from this condition, especially at late stages of dementia, start to show cognitive decline. Sharp objects, such as sharp scissors,  should be avoided. Materials that may be hazardous to the individual should also not be used.

Conclusion

Growing old doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice the quality of life. 

For seniors with dementia, cognitive decline may prevent them from leading comfortable lives as they continue to age.

Introducing a fun activity, such as making craft projects, slows down cognitive decline so that cognitive functioning continues for as long as possible.

Creative projects also help in maintaining their self-esteem and self-worth.

Crafts for dementia patients, however, do not target just the cognitive ability of people with dementia. It is meant to improve even their physical health.

It also is a means for them to continue having a social connection so that they continue living happy lives. After all, age is just a number and it should always remain as that — a number.

References

  • 1. The benefits of art therapy for seniors [Internet]. Sunriseseniorliving.com. 2016 [cited 2021 Dec 10]. Available from: https://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/blog/october-2016/the-benefits-of-art-therapy-for-seniors.aspx
  • 2. Arthritis of the Hand: Symptoms, Types & Treatments [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic. 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 10]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/7082-arthritis-of-the-wrist-and-hand
  • 3. Coloring Pages for Seniors [Internet]. Super Coloring. 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 10]. Available from: http://www.supercoloring.com/collections/coloring-pages-for-seniors
senior woman making crafts out of corks

What are some of your favorite crafts for seniors with dementia? Share below!

About Haley Burress

Haley has been working with seniors and their caregivers for more than 17 years. She has held local and national leadership roles in a variety of senior services and senior care agencies. Today, she is a sought after writer specializing in topics for older adults, their family members, and professional caregivers. When she isn't at her computer sipping coffee, you can find her hiking with her husband, son, and dog or trying a new cookie recipe in the kitchen. Follow her on LINKEDIN. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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