BY ANDREA BALIZET
Crafts are popular with many seniors and are a great addition to any activity program. They fulfill the creative element requirement and can help you fill the calendar when you might be struggling. Crafts encourage socialization and help improve dexterity and hand eye coordination for your seniors. They also stimulate the mind and create a sense of achievement.
But maybe you have poor attendance when you plan a craft class. This can be really frustrating considering the work involved.
So why aren’t they coming? In this blog post we’ll discuss some of the reasons and ways to improve attendance and get your residents wheeling their walkers to crafts!
FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
Some residents may feel anxious about doing crafts. They may think the craft will be too difficult for them because of past experiences. They may have trouble with Arthritis, shaky hands, or trouble seeing.
If you suspect this might be the case, show her the craft you will be doing. Explain to her the steps and make sure she understands that help is available, and that many residents ask for help with certain parts of crafts. Making sure that the crafts you plan are easy enough for your seniors helps also. If they learn to expect that the craft will be something they can be successful at, they will be more likely to come back.
It can be hard to come up with a craft that is simple but doesn’t look like something a preschooler would do. Do you see the difference between the two pictures below? Your higher functioning residents will be very sensitive to this, so it is important to do adult-themed crafts. Seniorly Creations is a great resource if you struggle with this.
THEY DON’T WANT CRAFTS CLUTTERING UP THEIR ROOMS
We’ve all heard this excuse where they don’t know what to do with the crafts or they have too much in their rooms already. Suggest that they give the crafts away as gifts to family members. If they don’t like this idea tell them if they don’t want to take them, you will use them as decorations in the Activity Room. Another idea is to plan crafts that can be used as centerpieces in the dining room. Your residents will like being a part of the decorating and making their home feel special!
YOU HAVE BOUGIE RESIDENTS WHO EXPECT VERY NICE CRAFTS!
If this is the case, then do better crafts. What I mean by this is make sure it is not a paper craft or foam craft. Do crafts that are more like what you would see on Pinterest which is a great resource. However, I know for many of you, budget can be an issue. Seniorly Creation’s craft kits are $5 per craft or less when you use a coupon, and they are good quality crafts.
THEY NEED SOMETHING MORE TO ENTICE THEM
How about trying a Craft and Sip? Make a specialty drink your residents will like. It doesn’t have to have alcohol in it unless that’s what your residents want! Offer the drink before you do the craft and give them a little time to socialize with one another. Then, while they’re enjoying their drink explain the directions for the craft.
I hope these ideas are helpful and remember, your excitement about the craft will be contagious. Be excited and many of them will get excited as well! Good luck on your next craft program!
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