Move over Thanksgiving… Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are coming.
We always seek for ways to insert a little love and improve the quality of life of your aging loved ones and their Caregiver. With that and the approaching holidays in mind, let’s encourage Mom to create a special holiday card for her children or grandchildren. It is good to receive, but it is even better to give. Seeing the faces and hearing the voices of custom-card recipients will lift anyone’s spirits. Mom and her Caregiver could use that medicine.
We promise you that Mom and her Caregiver will experience much joy while contemplating and creating this custom-made love card. However, there are additional benefits that Mom will receive from this project:
• a break from the routine with plenty of entertainment and pride
• engagement and stimulation of creative parts of the brain
• exercise in dexterity, eye and hand movement coordination
Consider how you or your Mom’s Caregiver can modify the card making activity for her age and level of ability. We do not want your loved one be upset if she is not able to cope with certain tasks. For example, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, dementia tends to limit concentration and cause difficulty in following directions. For such individuals, activity should be considerably simplified to match their ability. Try to make it simple and enjoyable.
Start with Shopping for Ideas at your Local Arts and Crafts Store
This really does not have to be difficult.
Surprise Mom by taking her to the local Michaels (find one near you here) or any other arts and crafts store. We like Michaels because of their huge selection. Did we mention that they offer Senior Discount?
Start in the stickers section. Look around. We promise you they have hundreds of the cutest holiday stickers, decorative buttons, pearls, ribbons, cotton balls, pom poms, threads, glitter, rhinestones, markers, crayons, paints, stickers, tapes, fabrics, textured papers, miniature letters, wiggle eyes and plain cards with envelopes. If Mom is very ambitious and wants to cut and glue her own creations, you may need scissors and glue. We find that with the hundreds of truly beautiful thematic stickers, which serve well as the centerpiece of a card, we do not have to resort to scissors and glue. Keep in mind that larger decorations will be easier to handle for your Senior loved one, especially if she suffers from arthritis. For more creative ideas for Mom’s card, take a peek at the card aisle.
Let the Fun Begin
There are lots of design ideas for homemade cards. Your Elderly parent can arrange and rearrange the purchased stickers of reindeer, Christmas tree, snowman, Santa Claus, stars or snowflakes. She can decorate it further with glitter, ribbons and other items. Making a card is almost like putting together pieces of a puzzle. Give Mom space while she is working, so she feels more independent, especially if she suffers from dementia. The Caregiver should be around if and when she asks for help.
When the front of the card is nicely decorated, it’s time to find just the right holiday greeting. Mom can search for a nice Christmas verse or make up one of her own.
Signed, Sealed and Delivered Early
Once Mom is finished with card preparation, she will be busy signing the cards and addressing the envelopes. She may need some help here. What is important is to send the cards early so the recipients will enjoy them, and perhaps have enough time to reciprocate.
Card making is not only mind-and-soul-enriching activity, but a rewarding one too! Your Senior loved one will not only feel engaged, feel that she was able to express her feelings, but she will also make the recipients of cards feel very special. Wouldn’t you like to receive a personalized handmade card this Christmas from your aging loved one?
If you really want to make this card making activity special for Mom and Dad, play Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” in the background. Don’t be surprised if she starts singing along: “I am dreaming of a white Christmas, with every Christmas card I write …”.
With love for the Elderly…