We all know that exercise has countless benefits for those of all ages, including a healthier heart, stronger bones and improved flexibility. But it’s not just about what you do at the gym. It’s equally important to find activities that give your mind a workout too. In a survey conducted as part of a research study on therapeutic knitting, found that individuals who knitted often reported a sizable increase in serotonin levels. The article goes on to say the respondents likened the act of knitting to “spiritual,” “soothing” and “restful.” In addition, 81 percent of individuals with depression felt that knitting made them feel happier (Hemmings, Maddock, Riley, & Corkhill, 2014).
In many ways, knitting And crocheting is the ideal hobby for older adults. It truly does benefit the mind, the body, and the soul. Let’s take a closer look at knitting and find out why it’s so good for us. Here is what our Guests are saying about therapeutic knitting.
Meet Sharon: keeping your brain sharp
Many of the older adults in our community worry about losing memory, which can range from occasional forgetfulness to more serious health issues such as dementia. We do our best to keep their brains sharp and regularly challenged. The Knitting Circle is the perfect activity to help keep the mind sharp! Meet Ms Sharon, Sharon holds degrees in culinary arts and sociology, it’s no wonder she is full of passion. Her passion for knitting was intentional on her part. When Ms Sharon started having trouble remembering a few years ago and experiencing other health issues she decided to live life differently. Ms Sharon, along with her family and doctor decided that she needed to retire and focus on her health. Ms Sharon started knitting intentionally to help her memory.
A neuropsychiatry study found that engaging in activities such as knitting and crocheting could reduce her chance of developing mild cognitive impairment by 30 to 50 percent. Knitting is especially good for Ms Sharon, since it requires her to use many parts of the brain at the same time. Ms Sharon and the other ladies that I will introduce to you have found a way to restore brain power within themselves and to give back to the community one stitch at a time.
Meet Surdury: It improves your hand-eye coordination
We know knitting and crocheting is good for the brain, but it can also be good for your body too. Many older adults have difficulty with hand-eye coordination as they age. But, knitting forces your brain and your hands to work together, sharpening your fine motor skills. It can also improve and maintain dexterity and strength in your hands, which can be great for those who would like to improve their grip. Ms Saudury finds joy in knitting and helping others learn to knit. The Knitting Circle helps to keep the Guests engaged in a cognitive and meaningful activity. Completing a knitting project – small or large is something to be proud of! Creating useful and personalized items offers a sense of purpose.
Meet Vera: Keep calm and knit on
“A study showed that people between the ages of 70 and 89 who engaged in craft activities like knitting had a reduced risk of developing cognitive impairment and memory loss” (Geda, E. Y,. Topazian, M. H,. Roberts, A. L,.Roberts, O. R,. Knopman, S. D., Pankratz, V. S., Christianson, J. H. T., Boeve, F. B., Tangalos, G. E., Ivnik, J. R., Petersen C. R., 2012). For seniors like Ms Vera this is important. Vera battles depression and anxiety. Vera learned to control her depression and anxiety by knitting and crocheting. Once during a short stay in rehab Ms Vera decided that her time was best spent helping others. Vera has had a love for yarn at a very young age, but it wasn’t until she started knitting with purpose that she was able to take control of her mental health. Knitting makes people happy–there’s a real feeling of accomplishment when you start to see a project take shape or when you finally finish that scarf or hat you have been working on. Vera has knitted over a hundred hats and scarves to benefit the Alzheimier’s patient. Knitting changed Vera’s life and she has a desire to change other people ‘s lives too.
It’s a great social activity
We are so excited for what therapeutic knitting and crocheting has done for our Guests and the community. We want to share our Knitting Circle with you. This year the Knitting Circle will join in with other “yarn lovers” by knitting hats, mittens, and scarfs for the homeless community. We also started a foundation in Honor of Ms. Vera to end Alzheimer’s disease. These ladies are phenomenal and resilient and have learned the secret to life “take it one stitch at a time.” We are inviting you to support these causes and be a part of something wonderful.
Geda, E. Y,. Topazian, M. H,. Roberts, A. L,.Roberts, O. R,. Knopman, S. D., Pankratz, V. S., Christianson, J. H. T., Boeve, F. B., Tangalos, G. E., Ivnik, J. R., Petersen C. R., (2012). Engaging in cognitive activities, aging, and mild cognitive impairment: a population-based study. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21677242/
Hemmings, J., Maddock, A., Riley, J., Corkhill B., (2014). Knitting and wellbeing. Retrieved from:https://www.academia.edu/7004566/Knitting_and_Well_being