Once seniors have mastered the basics of knitting, this hobby can be beneficial for their physical and mental health. The activity is challenging, and it gives seniors the perfect opportunity to interact with peers who have similar interests. For older adults who are searching for a new hobby, here are six reasons knitting would make a great option.
1. Enhances Motor Skills
Dexterity issues are extremely common among the elderly, and they often face difficulty eating, writing, and carrying out other basic tasks. The constant movements involved in knitting can strengthen a senior’s hands, increase blood flow to the joints, and enhance hand-eye coordination.
Seniors with limited dexterity due to arthritis or other health conditions often need assistance with daily activities. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Align Home Care, a leading provider of home care service families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. Reduces Stress Levels
When engaged in a challenging activity, seniors might experience a phenomenon known as “flow.” During the flow state, daily stresses and worries tend to fade away. A 2007 study found repetitive stimulating activities such as knitting offer many of the same benefits as meditation and breathing exercises. Once your loved one has a good grasp of the basics of knitting, this activity could trigger the production of dopamine and serotonin.
3. Prevents Unhealthy Habits
Many people develop unhealthy habits simply because they have nothing else to do at the time. Seniors might smoke while sitting on the porch or eat unhealthy snacks whenever they turn on the TV. Knitting occupies their hands and helps them forget about some of those other urges. It’s a great way for seniors to stay busy whenever they have nothing else to do with their hands.
4. Keeps the Mind Sharp
Activities that challenge multiple areas of the brain at the same time are good for cognitive health. Doctors once believed people couldn’t create new neural pathways in the senior years, but they now know seniors can learn and perfect new skills at advanced ages. Knitting activates areas of the brain that are tied to storing short-term memories, timing, moving, and interpreting instructions.
5. Increases Socialization
As seniors age, their circles of friends may begin to shrink. Knitting gives seniors a reason to get out of the house and interact with people they might not meet otherwise. Many retirement communities and senior centers host event nights specifically for those who enjoy crafts such as knitting. There are also many online niche communities for seniors who are comfortable using technology.
Knitting with friends and family members is one of the many ways seniors can socialize. For families living in Portland, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Align Home Care, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
6. Encourages Goal Setting
One of the reasons people become depressed in their senior years is because they no longer have goals. Mastering knitting is no easy feat, and it can provide seniors with a sense of pride. Creating beautiful garments is a specific skill that produces tangible results. Seniors can continue to set new goals, such as learning complex techniques, trying out different needles, and creating their own patterns.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Portland, ME, Align Home Care is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at (207) 835-3490.