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Summer Crafts for Seniors with Dementia

senior doing summer crafts for seniors with dementia

Humans have been communicating with each other through art since we painted on cave walls. So it’s not surprising that art therapy is a wonderful way for older adults with dementia to express themselves. But the benefits don’t stop there.

Arts and crafts for seniors with dementia can reduce stress, stimulate the senses, improve memory by creating new connections between brain cells, and allow loved ones to reconnect with people around them. To help you connect with people you love who are dealing with memory loss, we’ve created a list of 10 summer crafts for seniors with dementia. There’s something for everyone, from paint-by-number activities to creating your own wind chimes. Who knows? These crafts may even bring back cherished memories of backyard barbecues and carefree days at the beach.

10 Summer Craft Ideas for Seniors with Dementia

1. Crepe Paper Flowers

Making paper flowers allows people with dementia to express themselves and experience a sense of accomplishment. Choose high-quality crepe paper that doesn’t rip easily and can be stretched and curled for petals and leaves. Try these instructions for making realistic flowers that will brighten any home.

2. Giant Paper Dahlias

Create an oversized paper version of this stunning late-summer flower using scrapbook paper, cardboard circles, scissors and double-sided tape. Just one of these dahlias makes a beautiful wreath for the front door. Or mix and match dahlias in coordinating hues to create a custom wall display.

3. Sun-Splashed Collage

Celebrate summer by creating a sunny collage from photographs and magazine cutouts. Or create a mixed media collage by adding shells and using tissue paper to make waves and a sailboat. You may even trigger memories by using photos or news stories a person might recognize.

4. Picture Puzzles

Enlarge a photo of a favorite summer scene and cut it into square pieces. Then assemble the square pieces like a puzzle. Assembling puzzles can promote focus and concentration. The completed picture puzzle may even trigger recognition and recall memories of a joyful summertime.

5. Paint by Number

Paint-by-number kits give seniors with memory loss a way to complete a painting by following simple instructions. It’s an activity that can reduce stress, stimulate sensory perception, boost mood and improve cognition. Paint-by-number kits cover every topic under the sun, so choose one appropriate for a person’s interests.

6. Fruit Coasters

Turn drab cork coasters into vibrant fruit slices. All you need is craft paint, a paintbrush and a steady hand. Check out these directions for watermelon, orange, kiwi and lemon designs.

7. Handmade Greeting Cards

Crafting greeting cards encourages self-expression, lessens anxiety, and improves hand-eye coordination. If someone is unable to design their own, you can give them templates to cut out designs and shapes to decorate the cards. Starfish, watermelon, flamingos and flip-flops make great summer-themed cards.

8. Hand-Painted Bracelets

These stylish bracelets are super easy to create and will make anyone smile. Try decorating them with bright-colored polka dots or bold stripes. For a personalized touch, use your fingerprints to create one-of-a-kind bracelets.

9. Painted Rocks

Find a rock you can easily hold in your hand and paint it any way you like. There’s no right or wrong, only a colorful, unique outcome. From polka dots and line designs to ladybugs and flowers, the possibilities are endless.

10. Wind Chimes

Wind chimes promote relaxation with their soothing melodies. For a summer-themed version, create your own with sea shells. Drill holes for threading first (especially if you plan to decorate the shells). Add some colorful beads and thread fishing line through the shells and beads. Tie several lines onto a piece of driftwood, hang it outside, and let the wind play your song.

Discover a more creative approach to memory care.

At Freedom Pointe, art therapy is just one way we make life better for residents of our memory care neighborhood. Our person-centered approach takes into consideration each individual’s life story and focuses on their strengths and interests. One day it might be creating art. Another day, it might be dancing or participating in a musical program.

To learn more about how we can support a loved one facing memory loss, schedule a personal consultation.