Whether you have an aging parent or are a professional caregiver for the elderly, you know that being able to keep seniors engaged in meaningful activities is beneficial for their mind as well as their health. And there are many great senior citizen activities that you can provide for the elderly in your life. Creating scrapbooks is one of the best: they are easy to do, have little preparation on your part, and best of all, your seniors will love them!
Help Your Senior Citizen to Collect Activity Supplies
This is a wonderful way to engage your senior in an activity that allows them to talk about their past and preserve those memories for the future. While scrapbooking can get very complicated and expensive, it does not have to be. The supplies that you will need are a small scrapbooking album (6×6 or 8×8 would be best), some acid-free cardstock in a variety of basic colors, a good pair of scissors, a ruler, an adhesive tape runner, and a journaling pen that is meant for scrapbooking. All of these can be purchased at your local craft store, Walmart, or Target. You certainly can get more involved with special tools like a paper cutter, fancy scissors, patterned paper and stickers….and if your senior citizen enjoys this activity you may want to do that….but for now, start small and easy.
Help your senior to gather some photos, or ask the family to provide some. You will want them to be related to an event, special occasion, or group of people. Once you have done that, then gather everything together and begin making an album.
“Tell Me About This Picture”
The best part of this senior citizen activity is that it involves the senior in sharing details about the pictures, talking about memories, and interacting with you. Take full advantage of this time! Ask questions to jog memories and encourage them to tell stories. Most elderly love to talk about when they were children, special trips that they have taken, and their family….especially grandchildren.
Make This Activity Easy on You and the Senior
To make the scrapbook, take a picture or two for each page that are related, and cut some of the cardstock in a square or rectangle that is larger than each picture: when the picture is place on top of the cardstock it will look like a frame. Arrange the pictures and “frames” on each page, and encourage your senior citizen to participate in this part of the activity as much as they are able. There is no right or wrong here, and it does not matter if things are not “perfect”. It is the process, the activity itself that is of benefit to the senior. Don’t sweat the small stuff!
Use the adhesive tape runner to adhere the pictures to their cardstock squares, and then the cardstock to the scrapbook page. Now all that is left is to use the journaling pen to write a few things about these pictures. If the senior is capable, have them do the writing, if not have them tell you what to say. Try to have a date for the picture if possible. If you want, you can do the journaling on another cardstock square and then adhere that to the page. That way, if you make a mistake, you can just do another one.
And then keep on doing this for all the other pages!
Don’t Rush. Let the Senior Take His/Her Time
This activity for your senior citizen will not be done in a day or a week, nor should it be. It is the time spent making the album that really matters. But at the end, you and your elderly person will have created a wonderful and treasured album that can be kept by the senior to look at over and over again…or given as a gift by the senior to a family member or friend.
Most importantly, this was an activity that engaged the senior citizen’s mind, and body. Thinking and talking about the pictures, sharing stories and memories, and then using fine motor skills to assemble the album are the true benefits to this senior citizens activity. Having a wonderful scrapbook at the end is just a bonus!