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How is Origami Beneficial for Seniors?

4 December, 2018

, Hobby

Origami is a Japanese paper art form that is rather popular across the world, especially in schools and colleges. It has been used effectively in many ways in education as well as for recreation. The word Origami stems from the two words called Ori meaning folding and kami meaning paper; hence it is used to refer to this art of paper folding, using which people can make wonderful creations.

The best part about Origami is that it can be done using almost any flat paper that can be folded and can hold a crease. You could use plain white or colored or textures paper and create various folds that are usually called as valley and mountain, pleats, reverse, squash, and sinks. There are also few standard bases used to build Origami creations namely fish, frog, waterbomb, etc., while the base of all art form here is usually a square base.

Why Origami?

For most people, especially kids and teens, Origami is a way of expression; it keeps them engaged, relaxes them, gives them an opportunity to bring out their creativity, etc. However, the most interesting thing about it is that it is now being used widely as an activity for seniors. Research suggests that this activity can help people with many medical conditions to improve their situation.

Origami helps improve hand control, motor coordination skills, and helps build muscles. As such, it allows people who are recovering from hand injury or surgeries. Origami has also been found to help people with ADHD, anxiety, autism, the differently abled, etc. Even there are stories about how Origami has helped people with depression, and prison inmates as well.

It is also used as an activity in senior centers abroad as it will help improve the hand-eye coordination for seniors. In fact, specific modified Origami figures are used in helping those affected by Alzheimer’s disease. It improves the mental faculty because it helps improves your focus and mental skills. It stimulates the brain, while your hands are deftly creating shapes with simple folds. It keeps your mind sharp as there are various instructions to be followed for new shapes.

It relaxes you, even as you feel your self-esteem go up as you create new shapes and feel a sense of satisfaction. This is why it has been therapeutically in many medical conditions. It improves a person’s 3D comprehension skills as well as imagination, as you feel motivated to create new shapes by visualizing them.

The best part is that the only material it needs is paper; it can be done anywhere and with people of any age. Especially if you have grandkids, you could do this along with them, and they too would love the activity as well as the together time. Perhaps most people would have grown up doing the paper boats and airplanes. However, as you learn Origami, you can get to do much more shapes like birds, fishes, flowers, plants, frogs and more.

How to start?

Many books teach you how to do Origami, right from the beginner skills to the expert levels. You can order these online or browse any neighborhood bookshop and pick up one of your choices. Also, with the advent of technology, you have so many video tutorials available on YouTube for the same. These can also be easily accessed to learn Origami visually if you prefer so.

The only material you need is paper which can again be purchased from any stationery shop or even some slightly thick magazine pages can be used for practice. However, when you have learned well and would like to bring out your creations for display, it may be better to use some nice color papers.

So, get going with Origami to keep yourself engaged, happy as well as to keep your mental fitness at a good level. Churn out the creations and spread cheers. With Christmas around the corner, you may create a few stars and hangings for your tree along with your family!


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