There are many senior citizens who have limited dexterity in their hands and fingers. This can make crafting and activities involving fine motor skills quite difficult. However, there are still plenty of fun crafts that family members can give to and do with seniors who have limited dexterity.
Crafting can be a fun and rewarding activity for older adults, regardless of their physical limitations. It’s a great way to build up a new skill and to enjoy old ones as well. There are many crafts that can be easily adapted to fit the needs of seniors with limited dexterity.
The medical issue that affects most seniors with limited dexterity is arthritis. This condition can make it difficult to grip objects and perform fine motor tasks. However, there are many decorative crafts that don’t require a lot of gripping or dexterity.
One way to make crafts more manageable for seniors with arthritis is to use thicker materials. This will help to reduce the amount of dexterity needed to complete a craft project. Additionally, using tools with larger handles can also make crafting easier for those with arthritis.
The tools you use will depend on the skill level of the senior using them. But generally speaking, some tools you may want to have on hand are…
- Glue guns
- Acrylic paints
- Heavier gauge yarn
- Glue stick
- Large magnifier lamps for seniors with low vision
- Stress relief gloves
Here are a few ideas of some popular crafts you can try:
Gardening (indoor or outdoor)
Indoor or outdoor gardening can be a great “simple craft” idea. Okay, it’s more of a fun activity than a craft but it’s a fun way to enjoy an activity that can be bring a great sense of accomplishment to any senior.
The one issue I would address is to use the appropriate gardening tools for the senior with limited dexterity. The tools I would recommend are.
- Large handle gardening tools such as these.
- A seat / tool bench like this one.
- A tool tote bag.
- A raised garden bed for outdoors.
Painting Clay Pots
In addition to actually gardening and growing flowers, herbs, vegetables, etc. You can take crafting one step further and paint clay pots to personalize them to your desire!
Decoupage are just one of the easy crafts that seniors can enjoy. The great thing about these craft projects is that they don’t require you to be precise! But the finished product can look amazing.
You may think that it would just be too difficult for someone with arthritis to crochet but that’s not necessarily true. With these large grip crochet needles, this craft can still be enjoyable.
These ergonomic knitting needles can work very well for crafters who love to knit. Even if they do have arthritis or limited dexterity in their hands.
Mosaics are a great craft to do if you have limited dexterity or arthritis in your hands. You can create some beautiful art objects and even some very practical things too. Just click here to see all that you can do with Mosaic kits.
There are even picture frames like these that you can decorate with mosaic!
Whether it’s painting on a blank canvas, or paint by numbers – painting a piece of artwork can be a stress relieving, relaxing craft for many adults.
But for seniors with limited dexterity, the secret is to use the right type of paint brush with a large handle, or add grips like these to your existing set of brushes.
Polymer Clay Kits
Clay molding kits can be a great way for seniors with arthritis or limited dexterity to exercise their hands and fingers. The exercise that one can get from handling the clay can actually be very soothing for their hands.
If you’re not an artistic type of person (like me) you can roll out the clay and then use any set of cookies cutters that have handles on them like these – to cut out shapes. The more different shapes you use, the more your creative juices can flow.
If you use brushes with large handles like I mention above, you can certainly work on creating some beautiful wooden bird houses for your yard.
I made several of these stepping stones when I lived up in Charlotte, NC and it was not only fun but very practical. Again, using brushes with large handles can make it much easier for seniors with limited dexterity or arthritis.
Create Gift Baskets
It can be great fun to collect the items and arrange them in a gift basket for others. You can you customize these to the gift recipients!
Large print coloring books can be a great craft to spend time doing. My mother loved this activity and she did it every day for many years.