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09.07.21 | Sage Advice

The Cognitive Benefits of Scrapbooking

What might seem like an old-fashioned and outdated mode of documenting the past, scrapbooking is a pastime that can celebrate and relive memories while getting one’s creative juices flowing — especially for older adults. It is also a great way to curate family heirlooms for all to appreciate. Today, we’re sharing how immensely beneficial scrapbooking can be for improving cognitive function and reinforcing relationships. 

Scrapbooking provides a wealth of mental, emotional and physical benefits for older adults. Research has shown that the process of scrapbooking helps expand new neural pathways in the brain, a process called neuroplasticity. The hobby is a fantastic way for those suffering from dementia or memory loss to train their brains to be grounded in the present while still reflecting on the past. 

Scrapbooking is also a creative outlet, allowing participants to express emotions they might usually refrain from expressing. It permits people to revisit their past experiences, relieving their  negative emotions and regaining a sense of purpose. Scrapbooking also offers advantages for relieving stress as cognitive abilities deteriorate. 

Scrapbooking can also be fun to do with others. As a social experience, it fosters communication, lightening the effects of loneliness and creating the opportunity to explore common interests with others. Scrapbooking is also a marvelous way to bring families together and engage in an intergenerational activity that strengthens bonds. By helping older adults sort through the memorabilia of the past — photos, letters, drawings, etc. — to build scrapbooks from their own documented memories, younger generations also have the opportunity to establish their own connections to their family histories that will last long after the scrapbook is finished. 

When looking for engaging, emotionally-rich and creative activities to keep your mind active and revel in the past, put scrapbooking at the top of the list!

If you want to learn more about how to scrapbook, check out the video below.

 

A table is laid out with material used for scrapbooking.
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12.10.20 | Sage Advice

Discover Your New Winter Hobby for Seniors

Cultivating hobbies in older adulthood is a vital part of staying enriched and engaged. We’ve spent our entire lives making others happy, from partners to kids to bosses to friends. Now is the perfect time to indulge in activities for personal happiness and enjoyment, too. That’s why today, we’re talking about the benefits of finding a hobby that suits you — and sharing a few ideas to help get you started.

Fitness Hobbies

As we’ve discussed before, it’s vital that older adults partake in regular, moderate physical activity. Hobbies such as yoga, tai chi, swimming and even gardening are great ways to get those minutes in while also enjoying the task. Choosing these forms of exercise will help transform the experience of working out from a chore to a treat. 

Social Activities

Loneliness and social isolation are major challenges older adults face. Incorporating social activities into your life is a great way to meet new people and learn new things at the same time. Consider joining a choir, a local senior bowling (or other leisurely sport) league, taking a dancing class or even getting together for a game of cards every once and awhile.

Mental Engagements

One major benefit of hobbies is the opportunity to stimulate and engage your mind. For those that love a good challenge, or like to be whisked away in a story, try picking up a good novel from your library or grappling with a puzzle in the newspaper. Mentally engaging hobbies and activities are even proven to help keep your memory sharp.

Artistic Pursuits

For those seeking to express their artistic side, there are many artist hobbies available. For those that are good with their hands, knitting, crocheting or quilting are all exciting pursuits. Painting, drawing and scrapbooking are great ways to get creative and to create keepsakes, too. And for the wordsmiths among us, writing counts as an artform too!

There’s a hobby out there for everyone. Keep looking and trying new things until you find one that’s the right fit for you!

Three African American older adults smile together, wearing aprons at a painting class
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