A Senior’s Guide on Scrapbooking

Woman creating a scrapbook

The Art and Scope of Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking is defined as the art of preserving and presenting history through memorabilia adorned with decorations as well as descriptions. It’s a practice that’s been done as early as the 15th century and is still widely practiced by people of all ages. It’s even used by various support groups as an activity to help promote positive coping and reinforce emotional strength. There was a 2011 study showing that scrapbooking was an effective technique to promote emotional strength and hopefulness in parents and caregivers of pediatric patients with cancer.

Benefits of Scrapbooking in Seniors

As mentioned earlier, scrapbooking is an activity that can be enjoyed by people in all age groups, including seniors. Fortunately, scrapbooking can be more than just a means to pass the time and preserve memories for seniors but can be quite beneficial:

Memory Improvement. The very nature of scrapbooking is to preserve memories, and having the elderly look through photos can stimulate one’s brain for recollection. Recollection and being focused on the task of making the scrapbook allows seniors to be mentally active and exercises their brain for better memory and mental acuity.

Boosting Self-Esteem. Related to the previous point, reliving one’s glory days can boost one’s self-esteem. Scrapbooking does this by having seniors relive the past through photos being used for the scrapbook. Another way scrapbooking can help boost one’s self-esteem is through the satisfaction of finishing a creative product that one puts hours of work, thought, and memories into.

Better Dexterity. Scrapbooking involves a lot of physical tasks that require a steady hand, from cutting art paper and foam adhesive strips, spreading glue, writing, twisting off caps, and drawing/coloring. These types of tasks, if done constantly, can improve one’s dexterity, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.

Socializing. Each photo has a story behind it, and scrapbooking can open up to a lot of conversational topics. You’d be able to talk about travel, work, people you’ve met along the way, and other experiences that have been immortalized through these photos. Additionally, scrapbooking is something you can do with friends, family, or a senior caregiver.

Tips When Scrapbooking

Gather Your Tools. Scrapbooking should be treated just like any other craft wherein you’d want to have all the materials you need before getting started. You may have new ideas along the way, but it’s important that you at least have the basics such as photos, craft paper, scissors, glue, and markers before moving on to specific scrapbooking materials such as foam adhesive strips, double-sided tapes, ribbons, and stickers. Scrapbooking can be made from scrap, as well, such as old magazines, newspapers, and other materials you can find around your home.

Have a Theme. People often get stuck on what to do or how to design their scrapbook or what to include in it. As such, you should decide on a theme. One way to help you decide on one is to look through your photos and see similar-themed ones. You can make a scrapbook about your trip out of the country, or perhaps a scrapbook of your high school and college years, or one that features your jobs and professional career. Before you know it, you’d have a list of potential scrapbooks you can do even before you’ve finished doing your current one.

Be Yourself. Your scrapbook should be a reflection of you, a way to express your creativity. There are many scrapbook ideas out there, but the bottom line is that you should do it the way you want it. That way, you’d be a lot more proud when you show your finished product to your friends, family, or even your caregiver.


Cutting out flowers for a scrapbook

As with all crafts and art, scrapbooking has many benefits. And due to the low physical demand of scrapbooking, it’s perfect for seniors and allows them to reap these said benefits. So, if you’ve decided to start scrapbooking, make sure to follow these tips and be careful when using sharp or hot tools such as cutters and glue guns.

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