Art Projects for Seniors with DisabilitiesMay 10, 2023
In retirement, there may be days that you aren’t sure how to fill. When a senior has to navigate physical limitations, this problem is twice as prevalent. What can one do when they struggle to move around? Art, however, is the perfect solution. No matter your physical or mental limitations, art is a fun activity that also provides plenty of benefits. Try some of these ideas for art projects for seniors with disabilities.
How is art beneficial for seniors?
Art is more than a fun pastime—it is also a great way to keep seniors mentally and physically engaged. The benefits have been recognized by researchers on a global scale, as over the past century the field of “art therapy” has risen in popularity. The reasons for this are plentiful.
- Cognitive function. Practicing the arts encourages seniors to stimulate all of their senses through the development of new skills. This improves neural connections and even memory.
- Mood. In having something stimulating to look forward to, seniors experience a reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Self-expression. As mental and physical limitations grow apparent, it can be difficult for seniors to express themselves. Art gives seniors an outlet to do so in a creative fashion.
- Motor skills. While art might not be overtly physical, it encourages seniors to move the fine joints and muscles of their hands.
- Pain relief. In exercising these fine joints, many feel a reduction of pain or discomfort caused by chronic conditions such as arthritis. It also helps release physical and emotional stress.
Art projects for seniors with disabilities
Painting is equal parts relaxing and mentally stimulating. Seniors can practice this skill by following an online tutorial, or by simply taking to the canvas and creating a beautiful design. They can also paint household objects to customize them to their taste. For craft ideas with paint, try below.
- Birdhouses—whether put on display in one’s home or actually used to house birds, painting birdhouses is a sweet, practical activity
- Pots—for those with houseplants, painting pots is a great way to customize your space
- Geometric tape painting—for an easy, bold craft, position painter’s tape in a design of your choice across canvas, then fill in the blank space with paint
For a more hands-on activity, try sculpting. Those with arthritis or dexterity issues benefit from this activity in particular, as it acts as light exercise for their hands. As time goes by, sculpting has been shown to improve hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
Get creative with your family memories by putting together a scrapbook. Glue old photos, newspaper cuttings, and other keepsakes to pages of a book. For an added flair, try decoupaging dried flowers or images onto the page to act as a background.
Seniors suffering from the early stages of dementia would benefit from having a loved one sit down with them during this process. They can remind them of the people and events in the photos as they come up.
For more active craft, mosaics are a great option. Seniors can purchase kits from the craft store that have all the necessary parts, or they can buy the tools separately and create their own designs. Mosaic pieces can be used for wall art or in more practical settings, such as coasters or tabletops.
Finding the help of an at-home caregiver
For seniors who live at home, it is easy to feel isolated. Luckily, an at-home caregiver can help. Whether you require their assistance for personal care, meal preparation, or simply a companion to enjoy arts and crafts with, these professionals always offer compassionate support.
If you think you would benefit from the support of an at-home caregiver, give us a call at 773-274-9262.
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