3 Reasons You Should Include Knitting in Your Caregiving Plan Today!

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/xxolaxx-742787/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=1017519">xxolaxx</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=1017519">Pixabay</a>I've been knitting for 12 years now. I started during a fashion design class when I was 17, knitting my very first scarf with cheap worsted yarn and size 15 needles. It came together in 4 days. The sense of accomplishment from that simple scarf has fueled my lifelong love of the fiber arts. 

 It comes as no surprise to me that knitting has health benefits. Did you know it could help lower blood pressure (which tends to happen when you're feeling more relaxed), or that it could help prevent dementia? 

 Below are three benefits of knitting, and why you should include it as a part of your care plan today. 

Lowers Your Risk of 



 A 2012 study found that seniors were 30-50% less likely to have mild-cognitive-impairment, between normal aging and dementia, if they participated in activities like knitting. You can read the study here; but, to summarize, they believe it creates something of a cognitive barrier to harmful chemicals.

Regardless of why or how, what scientists are finding is knitting works, so pick up your needles and start churning out as many birthday, baby shower, or anniversary gifts as you can! 

Decreases Symptoms of Depression

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/hbieser-343207/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=673103">hbieser</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=673103">Pixabay</a>Depression in the elderly is often experienced in conjunction with other illnesses and the medications used to treat them. Also, often social support systems for the elderly start to decline as friends and family age and pass on. In fact, depression is often overlooked as normal sadness or signs of aging, and those suffering go unnoticed. 

Take heart, there is an easy hobby that has been scientifically shown to help ease the symptoms of depression. In 2013 a worldwide survey of knitters over 80% of respondents said they felt happier after knitting. In fact, occupational therapists often prescribe knitting, and other mind-stimulating activities, to help ease depression symptoms in their patients. 


Increases Your Social Activity

We touched on it above, but seniors sometimes feel isolated and lonely. These feelings can lead to physical manifestations of problems. In "Knitters in a Day Center," Trude Gjernes summarizes some of the difficulties that seniors, specifically those with dementia, may face because of this social isolation. 

Well, knitting to the rescue. I speak from personal experience about the absolute fun it is to find a local knitting group and chat while you create something beautiful. The colloquial term for it is a "Stitch and Bitch," and while it sounds crass, sometimes you need that sense of camaraderie in your life (regardless of age). Often you'll find these meetings at your local yarn shop, and I've never walked into a new yarn shop without feeling welcome . 

Gjernes goes a step further to explain that not only will you find an increased sense of community in these social groups, but patients with dementia may benefit specifically, 

"The knitting performed in the parlor required different types of memory; it stimulated communication and generated social participation and social identities while it constituted and maintained social order," she said.

Don't be lonely. Knit with a friend.


I hope that you'll consider taking up knitting. It's easy to learn and inexpensive to try. You can likely find knitting needles and skeins of yarn for less than $5 dollars each at your local craft store. I recommend that you learn to knit by making a scarf as I did. It's not so big of a project that it's overwhelming, and you still have something useful at the end. Remember to take pictures when you're done and share them with us on our Facebook page or in the comments below!

This Alpaca wanted you to find friends to knit withFind "Stitch N Politely Complain" Groups Below (Greater Seattle Area)

Newbie Knitters

East Side Hookers and Cast Ons 

Be sure to visit your LYS or Local Yarn Shop. They often host get-togethers and classes.