Making crafts can enhance the wellbeing of older people. Research shows that engaging in arts and crafts improves the mood, gives the feeling of ability and provides opportunities for socialising. Making crafts also activates and sustains abilities that are necessary in activities of daily living, such as cognitive skills, memory and hand function. Therefore, creative arts and crafts activities should be included in wellbeing services for older people, both for those who live at home and for those who live in care homes.
But what aspects should be considered in the planning and facilitation of craft activities for older people? The purpose of the Handmade Wellbeing Handbook is to provide the arts and crafts facilitator with information and ideas about developing pedagogical thinking and practical arrangements of the craft workshops.
The handbook explores the special features of working with older people, for example, choosing suitable materials, techniques and working methods as well as communication, the importance of feedback and cooperation with care settings. In addition, the handbook presents practical examples of craft workshops that have been conducted in care settings. The publication is intended to be a resource for educational purposes especially in the fields of arts, culture, social and health care, as well as for professionals working with older people.
The Handmade Wellbeing Handbook has been created during the Handmade Wellbeing project. The aim of this Erasmus+ project was to enhance and expand the professional competences of arts and crafts practitioners to facilitate craft activities in elderly care contexts.
During the project (1.9.2015 – 31.8.2017), students and professionals from partner countries Finland, UK, Austria and Estonia conducted arts and crafts workshops in care settings in their respective countries. Experiences and practices of facilitating crafts for older people were shared in international training sessions, and now they have been compiled into a practical and inspirational Handmade Wellbeing Handbook. The Handmade Wellbeing project was funded by European Union Erasmus+ Programme.
For more information contact Sirpa Kokko, university lecturer, University of Helsinki email@example.com
Mari Salovaara, PhD student firstname.lastname@example.org