featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Monday, June 5, 2017


Photo by Chuck Moravec
Can arts and crafts lower your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease?

Various studies have shown the psychological, social, and physical benefits of crafting. Crafters often have a better quality of life.

Engaging in a craft is relaxing and relieves stress. Knitting, for example, has been referred to as the “new yoga”. People engaged in arts and crafts claim they feel calmer, happier, less depressed, less anxious, and more confident after engaging in their preferred craft.

Along with teaching patience and producing a sense of achievement and pride from a finished project, crafting has been known to improve problem solving abilities and spatial awareness as well as develop hand-eye coordination.

Now, according to Heather Snyder, PhD, senior director of medical and scientific operations for the Alzheimer’s Association, people who engage in arts and crafts at least once a week have a lower risk of developing various forms of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease.

I saw this firsthand when I moonlighted at the Sunnyside of Westfield Assisted Living and Rehabilitation Center in Revenge of the Crafty Corpse. The most active residents were the ones who spent a good deal of time in the arts and crafts room, and several vied for the title of Queen of the Crafters. The reigning queen was feisty 98-year-old Lyndella Wegner—at least until someone murdered her.

Revenge of the Crafty Corpse
Book 3 of the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries

Anastasia Pollack’s dead louse of a spouse has left her with more bills than you can shake a crochet hook at. Teaching craft classes at her mother-in-law’s assisted living center seems like an easy way to supplement her meager income. But when Lyndella Wegner—a 98-year-old know-it-all with a penchant for ruffles and lace—turns up dead, Anastasia’s cantankerous mother-in-law becomes the prime suspect in her murder. Upon discovering that Lyndella’s scandalous craft projects—and her scandalous behavior—made her plenty of enemies, Anastasia sets out to find the real killer before her mother-in-law ends up behind bars.

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