ARTS AND CRAFTS FOR POOR EYESIGHT (ACTIVITIES FOR THE BLIND ELDERLY AND THOSE WITH POOR EYESIGHT)
Your vision may change as you get older but that doesn’t mean that your choice of arts and crafts activities/hobbies has to be limited. Here we’ve come up with some fantastic and fun activities for you to do, what’s great is they can all be carried out by all ages and abilities and it doesn’t matter if you have limited mobility or are visually impaired, those with poor eyesight in general.
In this time of pandemic with Coronavirus (COVID-19) keeping us all isolated, now is a great time to get involved in a new hobby, or revive your passion in something you once loved doing. In this blog you can find activities for the blind elderly or anyone with low/poor vision, whether you are in your own home or in a senior care home.
Pottery, using clay or salt dough or a similar material, is a great way to get creative with your hands. Not only does it give you physical stimulation by getting you to work your thumbs and fingers into the clay but it also supports your mental wellbeing as you decide on what you are going to sculpt out of the clay.
To help you get started, think of an object/sculpture and try to recreate its image in your mind by using your visual memory. Then use this mental image to create your work of art with your hands. Enjoy the different textures and making interesting shapes with the clay that reminisce with your thoughts and ideas.
Jewellery Making/Bead work
Beads are available in a wide range of designs, sizes, colours, and materials, so there is something for everybody’s taste in jewellery. Threading the beads can be tricky for those with poor eyesight so consider investing in a beading needle (available at most craft shops) which tend to be longer than normal sewing needles (sometimes up to 10cm long) and they have larger eyes to make it easier for you to thread your needle.
Another top tip for your jewellery making would be to source some larger beads with larger openings to help with threading. You can even get beads with braille written on them so you can create a beautiful piece of jewellery with a sentimental message on it too.
It’s great to have an end result that you can wear or gift to someone special. It gives you a sense of pride for your creations.
Painting is a great way to express your mood whilst also being therapeutic. This relaxing pastime will improve with practice and experience. You don’t need many materials to get started, just some paper and basic paints, if you like, and then once you have become more efficient and excited by your painting achievements you could attempt different paint mediums such as oil paints, acrylic paints, or watercolour paints. You could even start painting on canvas so you can display your works of art.
Don’t be put off by your poor eyesight, don’t forget respected, famous painters such as Edgar Degas and Claude Monet both suffered from poor vision and created great masterpieces. This is the perfect form of art for the blind and visually impaired.
Knitting is a great another great crafting activity to keep your mind active and your fingers busy. You don’t need much equipment for knitting – needles, yarn/wool and scissors.
Some tips for starting out at knitting:
- Make sure the needles are mid to large in size so that is easier for you to feel and see them. You can even get lighted needles to help you see what you are doing! (They have small LED lights at the tips of the needles)
- Select a yarn/wool that is tightly woven so that is easier to see/feel the stitches as you do them and the pattern as it progresses.
- Try and choose a bright colour so that is easier to see what you are doing.
The sense of accomplishment when you finish a knitting project especially when it is something you can wear with pride, like a scarf or jumper, is really exhilarating and makes the effort worth it.
Other Useful Tips For Those With Poor Eyesight
- Have good lighting – Whichever art and crafting activity you choose to do, it is important to have the right task lighting for the situation. Take a look at our previous blog here, that explains the best task lighting.
- Magnify your work – There are some great task magnifiers on the market that can help your eyes see the activity you are working on in more detail.
- Check the internet for tips and guides – what’s great about the internet nowadays is that you can find text in large print or audio/visual aids that have reading aloud of the key points.
- Attend a local art and crafting group so that you can get some help when you start off in your new hobby, and you can make new friends in the process. You can find classes specifically aimed at teaching art for visually impaired so give them a go.
- This RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) webpage has more tips and advice on arts and craft activities/hobbies for the blind elderly and visually impaired.
- Book in for a regular/annual eye test/check – Ok you would say that, we hear you say, but it’s true. If you have regular eye tests and eye health checks any issues with your sight that can be resolved by your optician can be carried out.
Check out our Home Sight Test webpage here to find out more about our mobile optician services for you or a family member. We are your home visit opticians, don’t forget, so we can come to you in the comfort of your own home and provide a comprehensive NHS home eye test and eye health check.