Friday, January 16, 2015

Arts and Crafts for Senior Adults at the Library

Do you ever wonder how effective your senior adult arts and crafts programs are? Do you ever wonder if you are fulfilling the library’s mission or is this just another program that’s filling a gap for this age group?

Well, there is more to arts and crafts for seniors than just the arts and crafts that are being made. According to recent findings, exercising the brain is as important to keeping the brain alert and strong as physical exercise is important to keeping the body strong and able.

Here are ten benefits of arts and crafts programming for senior adults:

  • Provides a form of nonverbal communication and expression
  • Helps to reduce stress, fear, and anxiety
  • Enriches relationships and encourages socialization
  • Encourages playfulness and a sense of humor
  • Reduces boredom
  • Improves emotional and physical health
  • Nurtures a sense of self and renewed self-esteem
  • Restores and motivates muscle memory
  • Evokes new opportunities for connecting with others
  • Improves cognition and focuses attention

Ideal arts and crafts for senior adults:

  • Needlework (sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery, and quilting)
  • Braided crafts (using plastic bags, small strips of material, etc.)
  • Jewelry making
  • Stained glass
  • Painting
  • Wreaths and floral arrangements
  • Ceramics
  • Scrapbooking

Yes, you are fulfilling the library’s mission through arts and crafts. Studies show that arts and crafts participation makes contributions to the well-being of communities, social inclusion, lifelong learning, active citizenship, and volunteering. Arts and crafts activities unlock potential, eradicate apathy and build strong, happy, independent, and fulfilled communities.

Loretta Bitten
Powderly Library

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