Do you have lots of old photos tucked away where no one can see them? Turning them into a scrapbook preserves those precious memories, but it can also benefit older adults cognitively, emotionally and physically. Explore the benefits of scrapbooking for older adults as well as how to scrapbook and some ideas.
Creating a scrapbook is a fun, crafty project that many older adults enjoy doing. Beyond the pure enjoyment the activity brings, scrapbooking also offers several benefits for older adults, including:
Photos play a central role in any scrapbook. You'll typically include a few photos per page, but the exact number is up to your creative vision. You can also add other keepsakes or reminders that relate to the photos. Examples include:
A theme isn't necessary for your scrapbook, but it can make it more fun. Focusing on a specific theme can also help you choose the photos and decorations you'll use in the book. Some theme ideas for older adults include:
Scrapbooking is flexible and doesn't have a lot of firm rules, which means you can customize the craft project the way you want it. However, you'll need some basic supplies to get the project started.
You can find a wide range of scrapbooking supplies at craft stores, including seemingly endless options for scrapbook paper, stickers and page embellishments. However, you only need the basics to get started. Here are some supplies you'll need to start scrapbooking:
You can use glue as the adhesive if it's photo-safe. However, glue can get messy and can be difficult for older adults with limited fine motor skills to control. Scrapbooking tapes, glue dots and photo corners are often easier since they won't ooze all over the page. They're also easy to stick in place where you want them. Experiment with different types of adhesives to find one that works best for you.
There's some flexibility in scrapbooking, but here are the basic steps:
Prepare as much of the scrapbooking material as possible before you sit down to craft. Trimming the photos in advance, opening packages and putting out supplies so they're easy to see are examples of things you can do ahead of time.
Make sure the tools are easy for your loved one to handle. For example, get scissors with large handles that they can grip easily, or use large scrapbooking punch tools that your loved one can simply push down to cut out shapes. A freestanding magnifying glass can also help older adults see what they're doing better if they have vision limitations.
A finished scrapbook can be a great gift idea for your loved one, or they can make scrapbooks to give to other people. Whether your loved one enjoys scrapbooking or other craft projects, LifeStream at Glendale offers access to a creative arts room where residents can get crafty.