5 Ways Knitting Can Help Seniors Live Longer, Happier Lives
Knitting and crocheting may be regarded as a popular pastime for many seniors, but there’s actually good reason for that — several, in fact! Participating in the fiber arts provides a whole host of physical, mental, and emotional benefits that are particularly crucial for older folks. Yarn mills like ours can supply seniors with the high-quality knitting yarn they require for all kinds of projects, but they can also play a role in keeping seniors healthy and happy for many years to come. Let’s take a closer look at five of the advantages knitting can offer for seniors.
- Keeps minds sharp
Studies have shown that engaging in craft activities — like knitting with materials from a yarn mill — can reduce the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment in seniors by up to 30 to 50%. Experts think this is because these activities create new neural pathways and connections which help to keep the mind active. Another study actually found that knitting and other leisure endeavors can even reduce dementia risk. And because knitting involves many different parts of both the brain and body, it’s one of the best things you can do to support a healthy mind.
- Reduces stress and increases happiness
Other studies have found that frequent knitting can reduce stress and depression. In many ways, the feelings of calm experienced by those who knit are similar to what other individuals feel when they meditate. Ultimately, knitting can help seniors feel happier and less anxious. While this can be vital at any stage of life, it can be particularly so for many seniors who are struggling with feelings of isolation.
- Boosts social interaction
Another reason knitting can help alleviate feelings of loneliness in seniors is that there are so many opportunities to connect with others who share the same interest! Knitting clubs have become extremely popular, and these communal knitting forums can offer seniors the chance to make new friends and to provide and receive support from one another. This bonding can be essential for many seniors who might have limited interaction with others or who are looking for a new outlet for their free time.
- Improves coordination and relieves aches
The process of knitting involves all kinds of intricate work with the hands. Using knitting needles and cutting your yarn from the yarn mill call for good hand-eye coordination and swiftly-moving fingers. In fact, because of the great workout your fingers, hands, and forearms get while knitting, some experts say that this activity could actually prevent tendinitis and arthritis. That’s because the movements involved hydrate the joints. If you want to stave off aches and pains or improve your mind-muscle coordination, taking up knitting might be a good start.
- Provides a purpose and a sense of accomplishment
Finally, working on and completing a knitting project can provide seniors with a strong sense of purpose and feelings of accomplishment. Around 51% of frequent knitters and crocheters say they perform their craft because they love making things to others, and 44% say they do so because it provides a sense of achievement. It can be difficult for many seniors to maintain a sense of purpose, especially when they’re no longer working or raising a family. Something as simple as crafting can remind them that creative expression is important and that their daily activities have meaning.
Ready to start knitting your way to a longer life? Our yarn mill can provide you with the materials you need. For more information, contact Brown Sheep today.