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When there’s a special occasion marked on the calendar or an upcoming holiday, chances are one will discover a special group of artists and crafters busy at work on their latest project at The Terraces at Bonita Springs. Last Thursday, for example, Jacquie Lenard, Sally Newton, and Liz Counsell gathered along with facilitator Wendy Sprague to create 100 red, white and blue July 4th displays that they will gift to Renaissance Assisted Living residents in honor of Independence Day. Every resident will receive one.

Created on a beribboned base of colorful Styrofoam, the ladies affixed star-studded decorations like firecrackers, Uncle Sam hats, and a quote from the Declaration of Independence. The end result may be used as a centerpiece or a shelf display.

The July 4th craft is just one example of the residents’ creations throughout the year. Wendy explains that ideas come from magazines, the Internet, or resident recommendations. Those who participate get great satisfaction from being a “maker,” and from giving the projects as gifts to assisted living residents.

In addition to emotional fulfillment, research shows that there are great health benefits that come along with crafting. reports that when you’re crafting, you’re creating and when you’re creating you’re using your mind. That’s why crafting has cognitive benefits for seniors. Seniors who knit for example, have to follow a pattern or perhaps are creating a pattern of their own. This stimulates different parts of the brain. In fact, activities like crafting can reduce a person’s chance of developing mild cognitive impairment by as much as 30 to 50 percent.

  • Crafting can also help battle depression. Studies have shown that a simple activity like painting or knitting can allow the brain to release dopamine which serves as a natural anti-depressant within the body.
  • Crafting can help build confidence and give seniors a sense of purpose. Being able to complete a project helps people feel like they can accomplish things.
  • Crafting can also bring seniors together. It’s never too late to form friendships. Finding people who share the same interests, like painting or quilting, will foster a feeling of togetherness.

Crafting Ideas

Here are a few other popular ideas found by

  • Rock Crafts. There are dozens of crafts that can be done by simply adding beads and jewels to rocks. These make great decorations and are easy for anyone to do.
  • Watercolor Luminaries. All you need here is a jar, white coffee filters, and watercolor paints to get this project going. Check out the instructions here.
  • Photo Cubes. This is a great way to keep memories alive. Take some old pictures and some supplies from the arts and crafts store and you’ll be on your way to creating photo cubes. Besides an easy craft idea, this is also a great gift idea for anyone looking to make a sentimental gift.

Whatever the project, it’s clear that these crafters enjoy expressing their creativity and spending time together. We can’t wait to find out what they are making next!

About The Terraces at Bonita Springs

Recreation, special events, holiday celebrations, educational programs, guest speakers, and a variety of inspiring activities take place throughout the year at The Terraces at Bonita Springs ( as part of the community’s active lifestyle programs. The Terraces is the only LifePlan Community for senior living in the Bonita Springs area. Living choices include independent living, assisted living, memory support, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. All levels of care, including assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory support are open for direct admittance, with no entrance fee.

For more information, visit or call 239.221.8907.