Scrapbooking is a popular hobby that involves taking a blank book and decorating it with photos, memorabilia and embellishments. It’s a great activity to practice with an elderly loved one as it gives them an outlet to capture and share their favourite memories.
Oftentimes, it’ll be just as enjoyable for you as it is for them as you find yourself captured by the storytelling aspect of it!
Benefits of scrapbooking for seniors
Scrapbooking is a therapeutic activity that has many benefits for seniors. Aside from being fun and a great bonding experience, it can also improve an elderly’s overall well-being.
Helps improve cognitive skills
When an older person sorts through old photographs, certain memories will be triggered. Recalling and re-telling those stories from the past will help challenge your loved one’s mind, which can also improve their cognitive skills. With every photograph and object taken from the past, it’s also a great idea to help them write an accompanying caption so they can reminisce at a later time.
Provides emotional fulfilment
Scrapbooking with your loved one is all about spending quality time together. Seniors cherish the time they get to spend with their family, and working on a common project will strengthen your relationship. Being able to share their life’s story with someone close to them will also bring them great joy and emotional fulfillment.
Enhances physical dexterity
As people age, their fine motor skills decrease and it becomes harder to perform functional daily tasks. Scrapbooking is a handy way to practice occupational activity as it strengthens coordination. Cutting, gluing and placing pieces of paper across a page will enhance their physical dexterity.
How to scrapbook
Scrapbooking may be overwhelming at first, but there are steps that you can follow with your loved one to make it an easy and enjoyable experience!
1) Sort through your materials
The very first thing you need to do is get organised. Just like any other craft activity, you want to make sure that you have all your tools at the ready before starting. Gather all the photos you want to use (putting them in chronological order is also a good idea) and lay out all your materials and supplies. When you have everything in front of you, you may also get new ideas which will help you to get creative!
2) Choose your theme
It’s easy to get overwhelmed at the very start of scrapbooking when you don’t know where to begin. Deciding on a theme will make the whole process trouble-free. Sort through your photos and pick a particular life event that you want to focus on. For example, one book can be dedicated to a wedding, a particular vacation or birthdays. Once you have decided on your theme, you can match your decorations with it.
3) Design your layout
Before you glue everything on the page, lay out all the pieces and move them around to see what works best. This will help you share ideas with your loved one, and will also enable them to utilise their motor skills.
4) Share your scrapbook
We’ve saved the best for last, which is sharing your scrapbook with others. After adding the final touches to the scrapbook, you should encourage your loved one to share it around to other family members and friends. This gives them another opportunity to recount their life story, and may also inspire others to start a scrapbook of their own!
Scrapbooking for seniors is an amazing way to bond with your loved one, creating treasured memories that one day you might just add to your own scrapbook!