What are some inexpensive Arts and Crafts activities my mom can do with her home health provider at home?

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Thought of something very simple while I was mowing the lawn. Create different bouquets for your mother to maintain and change as she would like, especially as the seasons and holidays change.

Use a plastic or non-breakable vase or something lightweight, and use silk flowers so watering isn't involved. Let her choose a bouquet of flowers, perhaps add some ribbons on sticks which are stuck into the bouquet. Put it where she'll see it every day, perhaps as soon as she wakes up in the morning.

I use a few basic colors and change with the seasons. You can get green stems, sprays or bunches for the leaves, then add reds for Christmas, switch to white for January, then back to reds with pinks for Valentine's Day. I add pastels such as pink, lilac and lemon yellow for spring, then reds and blues for the patriotic holidays.

Rusts, reds and goldens can be added for fall.

Your mother could even switch more often - it's easy to do, and offers a change of indoor scenery.
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Well, again my apologies. For reasons I can't explain, the entire post disappeared then reappeared when I posted the apology. I give up. Gremlins in the software must be at work!

Corrections (there's no edit function on this forum): the butterfly picture I mentioned is in the second, not the first line, of the link.

Also, I did find some other sites with information on arts and crafts for seniors, but McAfee is taking a coffee break or outside enjoying the pleasant weather, so I can't tell whether any of these additional sites are safe or not, and I never visit a website unless it's noted as being safe.
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What a great approach! I just love it when someone is interested in adapting mentally stimulating activities for a parent, and especially when it's an arts and crafts project.

Well, for some reason my entire thread just disappeared...what a disappointment. I'll rewrite it later - I don't have the patience to deal with a temperamental website right now.

But I would recommend Michael's and Jo-Ann Fabrics for inspiration. They used to, and may still have, one time classes for simple projects to make which you could probably attend and then share with your provider to do with your mother.

And just briefly, it would help if you wrote more about what your mother enjoys doing, and any limitations she might have. I.e., is her vision still good? Does she have arthritis in her hands or are they quite flexible? Some activities such as coloring and painting would require at least moderate vision, while others such as beading (which was an activity in my mother's SNF), require some dexterity.

Again, my apologies for the lost response. From now on I'll type my answers then copy here when they're done. This isn't the first time a post has disappeared.



First, what does your mother enjoy doing, and what can she do?

E.g., is her eyesight and dexterity adequate to string beads and make jewelry, which also could be used a tree ornaments at Christmas? If so, those are inexpensive activities as you can get the beds and accessories on sale at Jo-ann Fabrics or Michaels.

Second, can she color? If so, check out the Dover newsletters with free selections of their vast array of coloring books. But, "these are not your children's coloring books." They're available in a wide range of subjects and complexity. As an example, these are entries submitted in a recent contest. Some of the drawings are very complex, but there are others that aren't.

These are other examples from their coloring books. Again, don't be turned off because of the complexity, as I might be since they are quite sophisticated. But see the butterfly and flowers in the first line, first sample on the left hand side.

RLTV recently aired an episode on using free hand art in nursing homes and other facilities. Residents were encouraged to take a brush and just draw or move it in whatever way they wanted to, or they could follow samples.

Personally, from my own experience I don't think it's the level of complexity but rather the process of watching colors blend. It can be mesmerizing, at least it has been for me.

You or the provider could find magazine pages (such as from Country magazine) with beautiful colors or flowers as stimulation. It doesn't make any difference if the photos are copied - it's the idea that the colors are inspirational.

There's also origami, which would require some dexterity to fold the various types of paper but is otherwise fairly simple.

Making wreaths is another enjoyable project as the wreath is adorned with flowers or other objects. Grapevine wreaths can be made if you're a gardener with grapes in your yard, or you can buy them (or straw wreaths) at Michael's or Jo-Ann's. Silk flowers work well; it's easy to cut off the stems if need by and slip them in between grapevines.

Mom could also make bows out of various fabrics, using silk ribbon or special ribbons with a variety of themes, including those for holidays.

Can she embroider? My mother used to enjoy embroidering pillowcases, but anything can be embroidered, including handkerchiefs which could be kept with Mom (all the seniors I know have Kleenex bundled in their pockets). Removing it for use would be a reminder of what she's created.

Would she be interested in quiltling? This is basically a forgiving art; even if she's not able to follow lines, she could free style quilt. It's not difficult to assemble the quilt sandwich - top, bottom and batting inbetween. A large quilt might seem overwhelming, so she could make potholders, or just a wall hanging.

If you don't have a lot of craft experience, check out Michael's or Jo-ann's for classes; they're reasonable. Or pick up some of the flyers that they used to place in the crafts sections, do some experimenting with the home health provider and streamline the process so Mom can do it.

I don't have specific websites to suggest offhand; it would depend on the craft. Years ago there was an Ageless Design website with a lot of suggestions but I believe it hasn't been active for years. I did find such a site but it wasn't marked as safe by McAfee so I didn't check it out.
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