Kindness is like a flower. It grows roots, spreads far, and soon, new buds emerge and blossom into beautiful new flowers. An easy way to cultivate your kindness garden is by painting kindness rocks. Started by Megan Murphy, the Kindness Rock Project has quickly grown into a movement across all 50 states. Adults and children participate by painting rocks and then hiding them in unexpected places for others to find.

How Does the Kindness Rock Project Work?

Painting rocks is a wonderful activity to lift the spirits of a loved one in palliative or hospice care. It is something you can do together or ask a volunteer or in home aide to participate in.

What Supplies Will I Need?

To get started, you will need some smooth river rocks. These are easy to find in your yard or near a local river or stream. You can also purchase a bag at most craft stores. Acrylic paint, a few paint brushes, paint pens and some sort of sealant are the other tools to have on hand.

Step By Step Guide

Once you have the tools, simply cover the rocks with a base layer of paint and get creative. Include messages, images or geometrical designs on your rock. The options are limited only by your imagination. For words, use the paint pens as they are usually easier to manipulate when adding fine lines or detail. If you would like, add the hashtag #thekindnessrockproject to the bottom of your rock. Let the rock dry, and add sealant. Then, leave your rock in a favorite local spot, or hide it in a place that is not immediately visible but also not too hard to find.

Goals of this Project

The goal of this project is to spend quality time with your loved one. The rocks really do not matter at all, so there is no need to worry if they do not look perfect. Because it is such a simple project, it works well even for seniors with some form of dementia, those who are bedbound or individuals with limited use of their hands. Use this as a time to engage in conversation. Ask questions or just listen while you and your loved one paint the rocks. You can learn a lot through one on one time. Spending time together on simple projects also helps your loved one to feel supported, open up, enjoy laughter and share memories that they might not have spoken about previously.

If your loved one feels up to it, get them outside to help hide the rocks. A short walk to a favorite park or even a drive in the car is a great way to get some fresh air and change settings. This is healthy for the mind and body.

Working with a Senior with Dementia

If your loved one has dementia, consider this project for a mid-morning activity as doing so might increase your opportunities for success. Timing the project is especially important for seniors who experience Sundowner’s Syndrome which often begins in later afternoon and can cause agitation and other behavior and mood changes.

Painting Rocks with Palliative Caregivers

If you will be taking advantage of respite time while your loved one paints, have everything set up so a palliative or hospice caregiver or volunteer can easily engage your loved one in the project. There is no need to push the activity if your loved one does not want to participate. Simply put everything away, and try again at a different time.

Painting rocks is a fun and engaging way to spend quality time with a loved one receiving palliative or hospice care services. It is also a great activity that can help the senior bond with volunteers or professional caregivers. It opens up opportunities for conversation and is a simple craft that even you and your loved one can enjoy despite any limitations. Have fun with it, get creative and create some special memories during this time together.

Salus Homecare Orange County is an accredited, cutting edge in home services provider. We provide support across the continuum including home care, home health, palliative care and hospice care. Call us anytime with questions or to schedule a complimentary, no obligation consultation.