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The benefits of knitting for seniors

Knitting, a trendy creative hobby with multiple therapeutic virtues to combat stress, depression and isolation.

Knitting has been a popular activity since the dawn of time, but nowadays this hobby is not only honored for its creative expression and the “Do It Yourself (DIY) that makes workshops and cafés such a success. tricot montréalIt is also widely acclaimed by experts for its many physical and psychological benefits.

Far from being an obsolete manual activity, the art of knitting is becoming a thread leading to well-being, designed to stimulate skills, forge social links, combat depression and reduce stress in senior citizens.

Good for your health

A delaying effect on arthritis

Arthritis is an inflammatory disease of the joints, causing pain, swelling and heat. It can occur at any age and affects 1 in 6 Canadians.

Elderly people are weakened by ageing and the natural wear and tear of the cartilage that protects the bones of the joint. According to orthopedic surgeon Alton Barron, regular, repeated gestures (holding needles, maintaining thread tension, quilting and sliding the stitch) help prevent arthritis.

Technically, this gesture activates finger mobility and facilitates joint gliding, with a beneficial effect on delaying arthritis.

An anti-stress action

Feelings of loneliness, the anxiety of boredom, mental ruminations, etc., are often the source of frustrations and tensions that exhaust the body’s resources and encourage the onset of certain disorders (anxiety, temporary depressiondigestive pathologies, sleep disorders…).

If a healthy lifestyle and a supportive environment are conducive to the well-being of seniors, indulging in a relaxing activity is also an effective way to combat stress.

Tricotherapy has already proved its worth for people prone to stress. According to the experts, the art of handling needles is an occupational activity whose benefits are comparable to meditation, and proves to be a valuable aid to the elderly.

Settling down in a relaxing environment, sitting comfortably next to a light source, hearing the sound of the needles and focusing on the work and the projection of its purpose, are all factors conducive to soothing sensory pleasures.

The benefits are similar to those of relaxation techniques, which stimulate serotonin (the good mood hormone) and reduce cortisol levels (the hormone responsible for stress).

Good for morale

Breaking a situation of isolation

Aging well also means maintaining social relationships outside the circle of family and friends. Of course, knitting is an activity that can be practised alone at home, and provides a great deal of relaxation, but carried out in a group, this hobby has an important built-in component: that of creating social links and getting away from the monotony of everyday life.

Needlework is making a strong comeback, and knitting is a booming manual activity. Internet forums, workshops and knitting cafés in Montreal are flourishing, and these convivial places of exchange are very popular. Knitting beginners and experts alike enjoy getting together, communicating and passing on knitting techniques, and “doing things together” sometimes gives rise to great collective intergenerational projects.

Forging links through a shared passion is an enjoyable experience, where budding or experienced knitters derive great satisfaction from passing on knowledge or simply engaging in learning under the guidance of experienced knitters, through work that requires perseverance and enhances self-esteem.

Helps counter depression

In a society that values performance, seniors sometimes feel on the bangs of this dynamic. Weakened by age-related pathologies, social isolation or family isolation, our elderly can fall into a certain melancholy or temporary depression.

Here again tricotherapy can help older people deal more calmly with a depressive episode.

Through this hobby, self-esteem is developed in the attention and dexterity of the projected creations (scarves, layettes…), a friendly environment that establishes a feeling of fulfillment, the rhythmic and automated gestures allow knitting and talking at the same time. In this way, you can focus on the work and the environment, without being distracted by distracting thoughts.

The action of knitting appeals to all the senses, appreciating colors, touching textures, hearing the relaxing click of needles…

Create with your own hands a work where the freedom of visual and tactile associations gives way to creativity and originality, a means of self-expression and self-assertion.

Other solutions

In addition to tricotherapy, many other approaches can be explored.

There are many physical and manual activities that generate well-being: relaxation (yoga, meditation, sophrology, massage…), walking, gardening, board games, singing, pet therapy, cooking and more. Generally speaking, leisure activities are good for the body and the spirit, and a good way of breaking down isolation.

Prescribed in hospitals and particularly popular in retirement homes, themed workshops are multiplying their health benefits.