Crafts and Creative Activities for Cognitive Health in Seniors

As we age, it becomes more important than ever to keep our minds active. Whether the senior in your life is benefitting from 24-hour live-in care services or just uses transitional services to get around town on occasion, they have a lot to gain from participating in activities that keep their minds sharp.   Crafting and other creative activities are perfect for helping seniors to focus, reflect, and test their mind-body connection. In this article, we will explore the best creative activities for cognitive health in seniors!

How Creativity Helps Seniors to Maintain Their Cognition

The human mind wants to be engaged, but many seniors find themselves feeling underwhelmed with their daily activities. Going through the motions can stifle our minds, keeping our brains from activating enough each day.   Participating in activities that keep the mind active can have the exact opposite effect, which is why activities are a primary focus for home care services and 24-hour live-in care services. Transitional services are also utilized to help seniors participate in more activities out in the community.   Seniors who engage in crafts and activities that encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity keep their minds sharp, allowing their brain’s neurons to fire and create critical pathways. Art engagement gives support for a wide range of important considerations, including mental health, life expectancy, well-being, grief processing, and neuroplasticity in the mind.   Art engagement is useful for all seniors, but it can be particularly beneficial with Alzheimer care.

Crafts and Activities That Keep Senior Minds Active

Seniors all have different interests, and some take to certain activities more than others. If the senior in your life is looking to explore new activities, this list offers a wonderful way to get started.

Making a Family Album

During our later years, many of us like to reflect on our lives and the people who led us there. Creating a family album is a classic craft that can be wonderful for practicing reflection, memory, and recall.   Seniors can begin this activity by working from what they remember, but if they are very interested, they might want to use other tools, like genealogy websites or social media to make sure that nothing is missed.   In addition to testing a person’s memory, crafting a family album also requires seniors to use their hand-eye coordination. As they piece together their album, add photos, design it, and add writing, they will use a wide range of skills and have fun doing it.


For the longest time, knitting was a crucial and wonderful skill to have in the family–and seniors will be glad to know that it is never too late to learn this skill! This is a wonderful crafting opportunity that requires focus and creativity to drive designs. Even better, it can even help with chronic pain, mental health disorders, and high blood pressure.   To get started, seniors can follow premade patterns to get familiar with this activity. However, as more time passes, they may be tempted to come up with their own amazing designs. With knitting, seniors will use their hands and their minds to make something from seemingly nothing.   As rewarding as it is perfect for making gifts, knitting is a great senior craft that can be explored alone or with the help of experts in home care services!

Creating Digital Art

Art and creativity both challenge our minds and encourage us to really dive into our hearts and minds and pull something out. Although many forms of art require a steady hand, digital art is friendly for seniors because it is also very forgiving. You don’t need a steady hand, and erasing mistakes is unbelievably easy too. This simple fact makes it great for reducing stress, and it can have just as much of an impact on health as working with more traditional art mediums.   This modern take on art is highly accessible and can help give seniors a voice during the years they need it most. Any basic tablet can give seniors a way to pass hours every day!   Common Digital Art Types Include:
  • Drawing
  • Coloring Books
  • Painting
  • Music Creation
  • Video Making
  • Photo Editing

Maintaining a Journal

Whether you are young or old, journaling is a common pastime that can offer some really amazing benefits, but it is a particularly wonderful activity for seniors. Writing in a journal a little each day can help with memory recall and give seniors time to reflect on their later years and the complex emotions they may be feeling.   While some find that keeping a daily journal to write down one’s adventures is best, some seniors also like to use journaling to reflect on their lives and what they have seen. Creating their own memoirs can encourage seniors to challenge their recall, make peace with emotions, and tell their own stories.

Crafting Short Stories

Not everyone likes writing about their own lives, and some may find it fairly dull. However, seniors who want to gain the mental benefits of writing will be glad to know that they are most certainly not limited to writing about themselves. Instead, they can craft their very own tales to share with family and friends.   The creativity and mental focus that come with writing a story is something every senior can benefit from. Even better, this activity is perfect for seniors with a wide range of interests. They can take time to reflect on different topics and have fun doing it. Some may write funny stories while others may write horror stories or adventure stories. Every senior can make writing their own!

Sandcastle Building

There are some activities that bring us joy no matter how old we are, and sandcastle building is one of them. It keeps us moving by giving us a physical task to do, lets us explore the sensations of different textures, and encourages us to be creative as we design the castle of our dreams–and this stress-relieving activity is more accessible than you might think. For more vulnerable seniors, this fun activity can even be safely explored with 24-hour live-in care services.   While seniors may be happy to head over to the local beach for a little sandcastle building, they certainly don’t need to. These days, you can buy at-home sandcastle-building kits that allow you to bring the joy of this activity home with less mess, less risk, and even more comfort!

Making Sculptures

Bringing much of the same charm as sandcastle building, sculpture is a wonderful craft that keeps seniors engaged and happy. There is a certain magic that comes with molding something from a material, and each sculpture is a deeply personal creation that can never quite be repeated.   Seniors can explore sculpture with a wide range of tools, whether they keep it simple with something like Play-Doh or add more professionalism with single-use clay. Seniors who aren’t sure where to start may benefit from using a simple kit, helping them get that initial support before they start making the designs of their dreams.

Use Crafts and Creativity to Keep a Sharp Mind and a Happy Heart!

Engaging activities are a gift for the mind, and they can play a critical prevention and symptom management role in Alzheimer care. Whether the senior in your life gets support through 24-hour live-in care services or more generalized home care services, they can benefit from engaging in activities that help keep their minds active and their hearts full.   To learn more about supporting seniors, contact us about our home care Broward County services today!   References: