Finding activities for elderly people can be a time-consuming and sometimes budget-eating task, especially when you work in a residential or care setting.
An engaging activity programme needs a wide variety of interesting, creative things to keep people entertained week after week and you have to account for different abilities; sometimes people may need very easy activities or something a bit more challenging, even if help is needed to complete it.
We were contacted by MHA Communities Wakefield, a charity that enables older people to stay living independently in their own homes for as long as possible, tackling loneliness and isolation and helping them to lead fulfilled lives, remaining active members of their communities.
To provide the best possible quality of life, MHA have a programme with lots of activities, one of which is a card making group attended by around 16 people per week.
A lot of time was being spent searching for activity ideas, buying cost-effective supplies and then re-ordering when those had run out - that time could be much better spent doing activities and being with people!
As well as being given some freebies from our donated stock, the activity coordinator was intrigued by our printable cards and crafts.
At the time, the idea of "printables" was new to the charity but the fact they could download their supplies and print off lots of different designs and hand them out as people wanted, was very appealing!
Even if the printable kits weren't the main activity, they could be used as an extra "filler" for when people had finished what they were doing and needed something else to do before the end of their session.
Printables can be hard to grasp if you're not used to using them - that you literally print out what you want to make - but having had a good look around our downloads the verdict came back..."the handbag cards sold it".
So bearing in mind the charity works with elderly people, what did they choose as appropriate card making and craft activities for their group?
Over the years, they have chosen easy-to-cut bundles of printables such as:
Plus, some fancier card making printables that are a bit more of a challenge but still easier than you might think:
During lockdown, our printables were of benefit yet again - activity packs were put together from various card making kits (see both photos above with finished samples) and included with other craft supplies which were then distributed to residents and their community craft group.
For the festive season, the charity have chosen a variety of our many printable Christmas card making kits, including these fabulous Offset Gatefold Cards and the Christmas Taster Bundle which includes a several festive items to have a go at including a Christmas gift box, cracker, tags etc.
It's not always easy to find activities for elderly people that suit everyone, but we have a wide range that can be instantly downloaded and tried - some require more manual dexterity than others, and others are nice to make together, with friends and family (when that's finally allowed again!)
Want to give printables a try? Download these free Christmas Gift Tags onto card, preferably white/light-coloured. Then just cut out, prick a hole and they're ready to write and attach to your gifts...