The healing power of art has been recognized throughout the ages. According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy can help with everything from cognitive function to conflict resolution. Many people with memory loss can use art such as painting, photography, sculpting, and crafting to express themselves non-verbally. This makes arts and crafts a simple yet effective way to keep your loved one engaged, happy, and able to communicate, even if they have memory loss.
While only a trained art therapist can perform art therapy, you don’t have to be a therapist to help your loved one enjoy the many benefits of art. Here are a few ideas to get you started!
- Create a Floral Arrangement – What springs to mind at this time of year more than flowers? Floral arranging can be a calming, artistic activity. If you want the results to last or your loved one has allergies, consider purchasing artificial flowers.
- Make a Collage or Photo Book – Scrapbooking, especially with family and personal photos, can help people with memory loss. Bring photos of significant people and events from your loved one’s life, and be ready to help them label the photos.
- Undertake an Upcycling Project – Reusing clean, interesting recyclables can allow your loved one to create an environmentally friendly, inexpensive piece of art!
- Put Together a Wreath – A springtime wreath can add cheerful color to your loved one’s front door! Simply get a base for it and consider going to the craft store for their favorite artificial flowers and springtime greenery.
- Paint a Planter – Buy a planter or pot and give your loved one the tools to paint it. Then, you could help them plant something or add artificial flowers to get the benefits of colorful blooms without the hassle of plant care.
We hope these ideas get your mind engaged and your creative juices flowing. However, before you start your project, keep these recommendations from the Alzheimer’s Association in mind:
- Tailor your project to an adult’s understanding (nothing childlike).
- Use the project as a springboard for conversation.
- Choose safe tools and materials.
- Give your loved one plenty of time to work on the project.
If you need more arts and crafts ideas or help to make a craft idea you have memory-loss-friendly, turn to the team at Maple Ridge. We specialize in creating full lives for our residents with memory loss, and we can give you safe, enjoyable project suggestions for your loved one. Whether your loved one is currently living at our residence or you want to learn more about the holistic care we provide, please contact us today.