There is preliminary research to suggest that crafting, crocheting in particular, can offer benefits to those with age-related memory loss and even dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Kathryn Vercillo completed her study as research to finish her book, called Crotchet Saved my Life.
There has been emerging evidence that art therapy can be beneficial but Vercillo’s findings unveiled that crotchet has the potential to help prevent age-related memory loss. Although the research is in its early stages, Vercillo suggests the findings are promising to suggest that crocheting may help slow down the progression of age-related memory loss and may help patients better manage symptoms.
Here are some of the benefits of crafting that Vercillo uncovered through her research.
Benefits of Crafting on Age-Related Memory Loss
Reduces anxiety: Patients with memory loss will often experience anxiety. By occupying your time by completing a hands-on activity like crochet, it can help reduce symptoms of anxiety.
Offers self-expression: Communicating becomes difficult as memory loss worsens, so crafting can be a way for patients to express themselves. It can be a way to give patients a voice again even if they can’t find the words to say.
Evokes memories: For some patients, crafting may evoke memories, especially if patients crafted as a child. In some cases, partaking in similar crafts today as they did growing up may spark memories which the patient may craft out. It also allows patients to reconnect with a meaningful experience, which can be comforting.
Provides community: It’s still very important that patients with memory loss stay connected with society, but this can be a growing challenge as their memory loss becomes worse. By gathering with others to complete crafts, it can help reduce anxiety and depression, which can arise through isolation.
Mindfulness: Crafting allows patients to become mindful and present at the moment as they focus on the craft.
Purpose: Living with memory loss, a person can begin to lose their sense of purpose, which can contribute to a spiraling depression. Creating and crafting can provide patients with a sense of purpose as it can remind patients that they are still useful and able.
If you know someone suffering from age-related memory loss it may be wise to look in to community crafting activities that are available to help them get started.