Growing older is not without its challenges. Seniors may have health or mobility issues that they didn’t have before. They may not be able to see their family as often, or they may miss the structure that their days had before retirement. But for many seniors, there is also a freedom to their twilight years. They have more time and many of the concerns and anxieties that they may have had when they were younger seem less important. It can be a prime time to pick up a new hobby, and in fact, engaging with arts and crafts can be a great boon for quality of life in seniors.
Arts Are a Social Outlet
Many elderly people struggle with feeling isolated or alone. Maybe they can’t move around as easily or drive as they had once. Maybe they live farther away from their family or aren’t able to see their neighbors often. But picking up a new art or craft can be a social outlet, as well as a creative one.
Let’s say a senior chooses to pick up quilting. They may have to go to a fabric store to choose their fabric, thread, and batting. They may need to find social groups of other, more experienced quilters who can help them when they’re stuck. They may want to show off their work. All of these things offer opportunities for socializing that they might not have had before. There are other arts, such as playing music in a band, that are intrinsically social.
Arts Offer a Sense of Purpose
Retirement is often looked forward to, but once it’s achieved, seniors can feel a little adrift. For better or worse, with a 9-to-5 job, there was a structure to their day. Once their day is free, they may struggle to fill it with something to do and might begin to feel the loss of purpose. A creative endeavor gives seniors a goal and a purpose to work towards each day. It can add some of that structure and motivation back to their life…as well as the pride in finishing a creative project.
Arts Can Reinforce Independence
It can be frustrating for seniors to have to rely on others for so much of their lives. They may need someone to pick up groceries for them or drive them to doctor’s appointments, to remind them to take their medication, or to help them get around. This can be demoralizing to anyone, even if it’s a natural part of life. But beginning a creative endeavor that they can do themselves will give them that sense of pride and independence. There’s nothing better than looking at a finished creative project and knowing that you did that yourself. This can help seniors to accept the things they can’t do alone more easily, too.
At CJ & Associates Care Consulting, we have compassionate, experienced care managers dedicated to not just the physical health but quality of life for seniors. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you or a loved one or to set up an appointment.