Elderly, impaired people can enjoy a variety of different arts and crafts. Craft projects may need some modification for those with limitations. Crafts not only stimulate brain activity, but provide hours of enjoyment for those who need to fill their days with things to do. Have all the necessary materials available and arranged carefully to make the process of crafting and painting easier and more satisfying for the crafter.
Different painting projects can be appropriate for visually impaired seniors. The extent of visual impairment determines how much assistance is necessary. Set up the paint palate with water-based acrylic paint and go over each color verbally. Suitable painting surfaces are canvas, paper or wood. Finger painting is another painting project where the elderly can enjoy the therapy of mixing colors with their hands.
Knitting is a craft that both men and women can enjoy while listening to soothing music. With some assistance with the basics and help with colors, they can turn out some attractive and useful items.
Many elderly people suffer from depression caused by loneliness and lack of self-worth,. A windowsill herb garden can be an ongoing joy, with daily plant care offering a sense of accomplishment. Cover the work area completely with layers of newspaper. Get small clay pots and craft paints in different colors. The elderly can paint the pots with different designs and letters to indicate each herb. Fill each pot with potting soil and herb seeds or small plants and line them up on a sun-filled windowsill.
Another addition to the herb pots are small, hand-painted stones to add color and texture.
Several crafts can be adapted for those with physical limitations. If the person has had a stroke he can mold clay with one hand. With a little assistance the elderly can mold bowls, vases and other decorative objects.
Those with arthritis can paint using large handled brushes. Set up an easel or tape paper to cardboard to hold it in place. Create collages with one hand by gluing bits of different colored paper, fabric, beads and yarn.
Making a scrapbook filled with a lifetime of memories not only provides hours of pleasure, but stimulates the brain to recall past events. Set out pictures, photos and memorabilia and work with the senior to put things in chronological order. Allow her to glue in each item and write any memories of the person or occasion. Have colorful markers available, so she can draw designs and pictures of different events.