Improving Elderly Well-being with Knitting
Updated: Apr 11, 2022
Knitting can be much more than just a solo hobby. Beyond the creative and fun aspects of finding a design and knitting it, knitting also has a lot of health benefits, especially for seniors. There are many ways that knitting can positively impact your physical and mental health. Below are just a few reasons you or your loved one might want to grab some needles and yarn and start a new hobby!
Knitting has a Calming Effect
Knitting requires coordinated hand movement and focus and has been shown to relax and calm the mind. Knitting then becomes an art form that also helps in stress reduction. While having your mind focus on patterns and your hands engaged in creation, the mind has less resources to spend on worrying about trivial things. Thinking about the intended recipient while knitting also helps one look forward and think positively. There is also the great sense of accomplishment that comes when you finish a creation and now have a new hat or scarf for yourself or to gift to a loved one.
Helps maintain Hand-Eye Coordination
Many seniors struggle with hand-eye coordination as they age. Knitting is an excellent hobby to help maintain and improve hand-eye coordination. Regularly knitting forces your brain and hands to cooperate and helps maintain fine motor skills. Knitting also helps with hand strength and dexterity in seniors. In a way, knitting can be seen as a small exercise for your hand and grip strength.
Perfect Hobby for Gift Giving
Knitting has the added benefit of having wonderful finished products that you can then gift to friends or family. Buying a gift for someone is nice, but spending the time and effort to create and make something with your hands makes that gift all the more precious. Those who receive your gifts will know that the gift took effort and thought and will cherish your creation. Your knitting hobby can also be a way to give back to the community. Knitting lovely scarves, beanies, or mittens for children or people in need is a wonderful way to show you care. You can even knit wonderful items for any furry friends in your life!
Helps Against Arthritis Symptoms
As mentioned earlier, knitting requires lots of fine motor movement and this exercise is extremely beneficial to those suffering from arthritis or tendinitis. A study published in 2013 in Arthritis Care and Research found that the repetitive motion of knitting can have positive effects on those living with arthritis. Some 75% of those that tried knitting experienced some form of relief from their arthritis symptoms. This, in turn, meant they required less painkillers than before they began their knitting hobby. Some patients even reported better sleep quality within just a single month of knitting therapy.
Great Way to Explore Your Creativity
As one grows older, it is essential to keep yourself mentally stimulated to help you stay balanced and to have a feeling of accomplishment. Knitting is a great way to explore your own creativity. Choosing and creating designs that speak to you or your style can give you a wonderful creative outlet for your thoughts and emotions. Whether it's a beautiful spring pattern or something from a TV show or even a novel, knitting gives you plenty of avenues for creative expression.
We hope this article has you itching to grab a pair of knitting needles and some yarn and start this wonderfully positive hobby. Our caregivers here at Christian Companions would be more than pleased to help you begin this, or any other hobby to help improve your life. Reach out to us today if you feel a caregiver would help improve your life or the life of a loved one.