Solution Name: Hand Coordination Activities
Whether rehabilitating from a stroke or looking to retain as many fine motor skills as possible as one ages, the key to fine motor activities is to practice them regularly. The idea is that with regular practice, one can both rewire as well as strengthen the communication pathways between neurons, reinforcing neuroplasticity and even potentially protecting against cognitive decline in the future.
Coordinate hand-eye movement
Promote bilateral integration (using two hands together)
Employ hand division (using some fingers at a time and not others)
Skillfully manipulate tools like scissors, a toothbrush, remote, etc.
Cross the midline, or recognize the imaginary line that divides the body in half (left and right sides)
Control movement that requires brain feedback from the muscles and joints
Hold the hands and fingers strong against an opposing force
While routine exercise like cycling, yoga, hiking, swimming, tennis, and dancing is always a great idea for seniors, fine motor activities involve more concentrated work with the hands.
Knit or crochet
Pinch and un-pinch clothespins
Pick up small objects like marbles or pencils (and then pick them up with tweezers)
Play games like Jenga
Put pegs in a pegboard
Turn knobs (on doors, faucets, etc.)
Practice buttoning and unbuttoning clothes
Move small amounts of liquid (with a spoon, eye dropper, etc).
Dig and plant seeds in a garden
Put a series of beads on a string
Move beans from one bowl to another
Squeeze a stress ball
Open cabinets and doors
Practice an instrument like guitar or dulcimer
Stretch fingers with rubber bands
Squeeze water out of a washcloth or sponge
Thread a belt through pant loops and latch it
Open a padlock with a key
Craft with small materials like pipe cleaners, buttons, jewels, etc.
Toss a ball with a partner
Press small buttons (on a remote, phone, etc.)