Hobbies are particularly useful for seniors who can use them as an opportunity to socialize with like-minded individuals at a hobby class or work on their motor and cognitive skills that start to diminish with age. Hobbies like crocheting can offer a therapeutic release for seniors. There’s enough research to show that engaging in a creative activity such as anart or craft hobby can enhance cognitive, emotional and mental health.The fine finger and hand dexterity required for crocheting are said to stimulate the brain to have a positive impact on improving the symptoms of dementia. Hobbies give seniors a sense of purpose and achievement that lead to personal growth.
Here is how you can get started on crocheting as a hobby for your senior loved one.
Getting your senior loved one started on crocheting if they are new to the skill will take some thought and planning. Think about starting them on a crochet for beginners online course if they are unable to join a physical group class. Crocheting requires fine motor skills,so it’s important to set them up for success when you introduce them to the craft. A teacher/guide whether online or face to face will ensure their experience is rewarding.
Start your senior loved one on simple patterns with repetitive stitches that are easier for beginners to grasp. Crocheting a single-coloured scarf will be a simpler exercise than a multicoloured piece of clothing or bed runner. Work with your senior loved one to keep individual crocheting projects small to enable, faster completion coupled with a greater sense of reward and satisfaction on completing the project.
Think about your senior loved one’s mental and physical capabilities and special needs when choosing a crocheting project and an initiation process to the craft. The exercise should help them succeed rather than make them feel frustrated and disheartened because they can’t grasp the basics. If finger dexterity is a challenge introduce larger crochet hooks and thicker yarn and a simpler stitch pattern to help them. If arthritis is a challenge, take frequent breaks and keep the project small. If poor eyesight is ahurdle, ensure a well-lit space to work in and choose large patterns rather than small which can cause eye strain.
It’s important to understand these special needs to allow them to work with your senior loved one at a pace that is manageable and rewarding to them.
Boredom with repetitive stitch patterns and projects may not be a consideration with seniors as much as it will be with a younger audience. For seniors their sense of reward and achievement comes from completing the project, variety isn’t necessarily required. You can introduce variety through colour and size rather than pattern and stitch. Understanding your senior loved one’s life experiences and attitudes can help you design a project that will motivate them. If they are family-oriented for example, get them started on a simple design that can be given away as gifts. If community-oriented, then gifts for the local orphanage or senior care home.