Knitting Therapy for Seniors
Knitting Therapy is a Popular Activity
Knitting is one of the handcrafts that is still popular in today’s digital world and knitting therapy has shown itself to be enormously beneficial for senior health in a preventive way and in a therapeutic way. Knitting is both mental and physical therapy. It is beneficial for the mind and also helps keep hands and fingers from falling into disuse. In short and long-term rehab and care facilities, knitting is often part of the occupational therapy program.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Knitting is very calming and helps to combat anxiety and stress. Research shows that it can help lower blood pressure.
Benefits for Stroke Survivors
Knitting can help stroke survivors regain motor skills in their hands. The repetitive movements in knitting can help improve coordination between the hands, the eyes and the brain.
Knitting helps Prevent Mild Cognitive Decline
Knitting and other handcrafts like quilting or crocheting can prevent mild cognitive decline by 30-50% according to a 2011 study on aging. Other studies show that keeping the mind busy and active can help prevent dementia.
Reminiscent Therapy for Seniors with Memory Loss
Knitting can also be beneficial for seniors with memory loss, as it can bring back past memories as a kind of reminiscent therapy.
Helps with Arthritis of the Hands
Knitting may help with arthritis of the fingers and hands, as it is important to keep these joints open.
Knitting can boost self-confidence, especially when a senior makes something beautiful and useful and gets complements. In fact, some hand-knit items may even be sold or donated to charities boosting self-esteem even more.
Knitting can be a great tool for socialization, as seniors can join knitting groups and find new friends.
Some research suggests that knitting can help fight depression. Results of a survey of 3545 frequent knitters, that was published 2013 in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy showed they used knitting to relax, as a relief from stress and to be creative. They also claimed knitting made them happy, boosted their feelings of well-being and improved cognitive function.
Too busy to Worry about Problems, Aches and Pains
Engaging in knitting, especially in a group setting, can keep the minds of knitters busy, so that they forget about their problems, aches and pains.
Knitting helps Knitters from Gaining Weight
Some knitters said that keeping busy with knitting kept them from being bored and snacking on junk food.
Therapy for Bed-Ridden Seniors
Knitting is one of the few activities and hand crafts that can be done by recuperating or disabled seniors confined to their beds. If they can be propped up on pillows this makes knitting easier, but even if they must lie flat on their backs they can knit, as long as they take frequent breaks to rest their arms.
Knitters must Get up and Walk around
Knitters must take a lot of breaks, get up, stretch and walk around. It is just not healthy to sit too long. It is best to raise your legs on a foot stool or hassock rather than sitting with legs down all the time to avoid circulation problems in your legs. Wiggle your toes a lot.
The benefits of knitting therapy show that this activity should be introduced in all facilities that provide care for seniors.