You’ve probably noticed that we do a lot of crafts at Palms Row. This week has been no exception, with residents enjoying making some lovely shell butterflies and decorating trinket boxes for their rooms. But why are these creative pursuits so important?
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, they offer a focal point for social interaction, encouraging residents to leave their rooms or favourite chairs and spend time with one another which helps foster a sense of fellowship. In fact, some residents join us purely for this element and don’t participate in the actual activity at all. Rather, they enjoy the opportunity to have a cup of tea and chat with their friends whilst others are busying their hands.
Secondly, craft activities using small objects like shells, beads and buttons play a valuable role in maintaining fine motor skills, concentration and cognitive function. Studies suggest this may in turn be associated with lower levels of depression and improved mental health, particularly when combined with physical forms of recreation. Completed crafts are put on display, helping to brighten up our walls and providing a talking point for visitors, as well as creating the all important feeling of “home”.
Finally, our residents are encouraged to choose their own music when engaged in crafts, which often leads to a singalong, further strengthening relationships and interactions both resident-to-resident and resident-to-carer. Music brings a huge range of benefits to older people from providing the opportunity to reminisce and enhancing mood to reducing agitation in people living with dementia. It is a tool we utilise regularly in our settings, both as a standalone and to complement other activities.
So there you have it - crafts are about so much more than just paper and glue.
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