23 Mar

  Arts and crafts kits designed specifically for people with dementia are readily available, while kits for other brain health disorders remain lacking, according to searches on Amazon.com.    

  Plenty of products can be found when a search is made for “crafts for people with dementia.”       

  However, that is not the case when a search is made for “crafts for people with mental health,” “mental illness,” or “intellectual disabilities.” Those searches produce listings of books, but no craft products.   

  There is one exception, however. Some products marketed for people with Alzheimer’s are also helpful for people with autism, according to some of the listings.  

  For instance, a fidget blanket with the brand name Azhchke is marketed as being good for reducing anxiety, strengthening memory and increasing concentration.  The blanket is a colorful piece of cloth, 12 by 14 inches, full of sequins, buttons, zippers and other items that allow for fidgeting, the Amazon listing states. 

   “The fidget blanket stands up to pulling and twisting,” the listing notes.       Other items can be found resembling more traditional craft activities, such as water-color painting kits, a kit for making hand puppets and another one for making a fleece pillow. Activity books, such as adult coloring and word puzzle books, are included as well.   

  While these products are marketed as helping someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, the author of this article has not independently verified the claims.  

  Meanwhile, do-it-yourselfers can find plenty of helpful tips on the Internet, such as those found on the Daily Caring website, a resource for dementia caregivers. The site hosts an article titled, “Ten Easy Crafts for Seniors with Dementia: Inexpensive DIY Ideas,” Feb. 23, 2021.   

  “Activities that have no right or wrong way to do them are ideal because they are always fun, satisfying and a boost to self-esteem,” the article states. 

  Some of the activities mentioned are attaching colored clothespins to a basket, arranging plastic flowers in a vase and sorting either coins or hardware parts. Attaching pipes and fittings together makes for a fun activity as well.  

   Of course, safety must be kept in mind and choking hazards should be avoided, the article adds.  

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