Knitting is an ideal hobby for seniors. The cost of knitting, crocheting, and similar yarn arts can be relatively small depending on the projects chosen. Many seniors love to knit. Whether they choose to do it on looms or with needles, there are many surprising benefits to knitting.
1. Increases Hand Mobility
Seniors living with arthritis in the hands can greatly benefit from knitting because it provides very gentle finger exercise. Regularly moving the hands and fingers can increase mobility and prevent joints from aching while performing daily tasks. Seniors with Parkinson’s disease can also benefit from knitting because it helps them practice fine motor skills.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional senior home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
2. Calms Anxiety
A 2009 study conducted by the University of British Columbia found people with mental disorders who started knitting experienced reduced anxiety and depression levels. There’s something magically calming about sitting down with needles or a loom, and seniors who knit on a regular basis experience less anxiety. The fact that they’re working on projects helps them stay in the now instead of worrying about tomorrow.
3. Makes Seniors Happier
In a study reported in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81 percent of knitters said they were happier when working on special projects. In fact, more than 50 percent of survey respondents said they were “very happy” when knitting.
4. Allows Seniors to Relax
Research has shown knitting produces the same effects as meditation on the body, allowing the brain to focus on something simple instead of obsessing over worries. Knitting acts as a form of mental exercise that produces changes in a senior’s physical condition, such as decreasing heart rate, slowing down breathing, and relieving muscle tension.
Another way you can help your loved one relax is by hiring an in-home caregiver. Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated at-home care, Fair Oaks, CA, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.
5. Boosts Self-Esteem
Scientists have also learned that seniors who knit have higher self-esteem. Aging adults can take great pride in their work when finishing a decorative throw blanket or knitting a pair of gloves as a present for a loved one. Seniors often feel so proud of their creations that they’re eager to show them to their caregivers and others who come to visit. Knitting also provides an outlet for goal-driven seniors because they can spend their time producing tangible items that are useful.
6. Enhances Brain Function
A 2011 study by Dr. Yonas Geda at Mayo Clinic examined more than 1,000 seniors and found those who knitted regularly were less likely to experience memory loss or decreasing cognitive function. Practicing knitting patterns requires a level of focus that may activate the neural pathways and maintain brain function. Connections in the brain must stay active when knitting. As reported in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, knitting requires activity in at least 60 percent of the brain. When more brain activity occurs, the risk of developing dementia is lower
If your loved one is already living with some level of cognitive decline, consider hiring a caregiver. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Fair Oaks seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance. Whether your parent needs hourly or live-in care, give us a call at (916) 485-4663 today.