As our loved one’s age, you’ll start to notice that their fine motor skills may start to decline. It may be that they have trouble fastening the buttons on their coat, or that their handwriting isn’t as clear as it used to be.

Loss in fine motor skills can be caused by many things, such as if your loved one has Parkinson’s or is recovering from a stroke, but it can also be caused by the neurons in the brain not sending messages to parts of the body effectively.

When an older person’s fine motor skills start to decline, it can have a drastic impact on their daily life; it can be the difference to someone leading a completely independent life, to needing constant help with daily tasks.

With a focus on hand-eye-coordination, exercising a person’s fine motor skills on a regular basis will help strengthen the communication from the brain to the different parts of the body, ensuring your loved one can lead an independent life for as long as possible.

Our activities coordinators are on hand to put together a varied calendar of activities for our residents, giving them the chance to keep exercising their fine motor skills when they join us, from gardening clubs to art classes.

We’ve put together a list of 10 simple ways to help your loved one exercise their fine motor skills without causing too much disruption on their lives, many of the points are often practiced in a person’s daily routine, for example fastening buttons while getting dressed and opening doors to go into a different room.

1. Planting seeds and gardening
2. Knitting
3. Pulling open doors and cupboards 
4. Turning door handles and taps
5. Putting pegs on and off a washing line
6. Buttoning and unbuttoning clothes
7. Crafting with pipe cleaners, small buttons etc
8. Opening and closing a padlock with keys
9. Puzzles and precision games
10. Using a rubber band to stretch fingers