Hobbies and activities are an essential part of growing up, as well as growing old. Older adults need it to keep their bodies moving, stimulate their minds, or interact with other people. Additionally, a favorite activity or hobby gives you something to look forward to every day while in your assisted living community.
However, many older adults fear that their declining health might end their ability to enjoy their activities. This is especially true for seniors who have limited mobility or are gradually losing it due to specific health conditions, such as stroke, arthritis, or injury.
But here’s the good news: you or your senior loved one still have plenty of activities to do and love that are mobility-friendly! You don’t have to move around or use your whole body and energy to have fun and enjoy yourself.
Stay engaged and fall in love with these five great activities for seniors with mobility issues.
Reading is a versatile activity that comes in different forms—paperback, hardbound, e-books, audiobooks, and picture books. It caters to the needs of seniors with limited abilities while also providing entertainment and enjoyment.
Besides keeping them engaged, reading also helps stimulate the brain and strengthen its cognitive functions. As a result, seniors may improve their memory, hone their critical thinking skills, reduce stress, and slow down cognitive decline.
More importantly, reading different genres allows you or your loved one to travel the world, go on an adventure, or slay some dragons without leaving your seats! Older adults can experience various activities by living vicariously through their favorite characters.
Elderlies can also join online book clubs like Goodreads to meet fellow book lovers and discuss their favorite novels.
Who says volunteering is only for the able-bodied? Seniors, especially those with limited mobility, can still do and find their purpose in charitable works. If your senior loved one enjoyed giving back to the community before they became confined to their beds or wheelchairs, then there’s no reason to stop now!
Participating in charitable works can help give your loved one’s life a new meaning. It is a fulfilling activity that brings a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction to one’s life. Some of the volunteering works they can do include:
- Rendering much-needed assistance to their assisted living community.
- Knitting blankets for the patients in children’s hospitals.
- Donating to pet rescue organizations.
- Assembling care packages and giving them out to health workers.
- Giving out free professional services like law advice (for retired lawyers) or counseling (from psychologists).
Get in touch with local organizations and charities to find out what charitable works your senior loved one can participate in.
3. Arts and Crafts
Getting into the creative world of arts is a fantastic activity for your senior loved one because it does not require moving so much or going out of the house.
Arts and crafts provide unlimited entertainment and an opportunity to express yourself just by using your hands and imagination. There’s drawing, painting, sculpting, molding, crocheting, scrapbooking, coloring, and many more!
But its most rewarding advantage is its mental and psychological benefits to seniors with limited mobility. According to studies, arts and crafts also serve as a form of therapy for seniors. Some of its therapeutic benefits include:
- Improved mood, self-esteem, and motivation
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Enhanced memory, creativity, and motor coordination skills.
- Develops a positive perspective toward life.
- Increased communication and socialization skills.
Your senior loved one can choose among plenty of diverse art activities based on their interests.
For instance, if they love designing or creating things, then you can introduce them to bracelet-making with beads. If they have a big imagination and an eye for color combinations, they can try coloring or painting with watercolor.
4. Technology-Based Activities
Assisted living communities now provide unlimited WiFi access so their residents can enjoy the internet with their smart devices.
Fortunately, the internet is more than just for tweeting or posting Instagram stories. It features plenty of activities that seniors with limited mobility will surely love! Some exciting things they can get started on include the following:
- Playing online and offline games like Words with Friends, jigsaw puzzles, and crosswords.
- Stream their favorite Netflix series, download a movie, or watch a documentary that they find interesting. Watch episodes of the Food Network or NatGeo on Youtube.
- Make a playlist on Spotify or attend a live stream concert of their favorite band or singer.
- Enroll in online classes to pursue a hobby, like cooking or indoor gardening.
- Join senior clubs or groups to meet like-minded individuals that share your interests. This includes a book club, sewing group, or gardening club.
- Use apps to stay connected with their loved ones. They can also join social media platforms to stay updated with their close friends and acquaintances.
These are just a few of the hundreds of activities that your senior loved one can do in the comfort of their home. Just make sure to guide and teach them how to navigate the online world safely.
5. Simple Exercises
Seniors with mobility problems still need to move and exercise their bones and muscles to keep their bodies healthy. They just need to do these fitness routines with assistance from caregivers or physical therapists to ensure their safety.
So, if your loved one was fond of working out during their early days, then this is the perfect activity for them. Furthermore, it keeps their physique in top shape while also preventing muscle wasting and bone weakening. Some safe exercises your loved one can try include:
- Seated workout routine
- Chair yoga
- Exercises using a walker for stability
- Stretching to improve flexibility
- Water aerobics
Assisted living communities also provide exercise routines for residents with mobility problems. So, make sure your senior loved ones join those sessions so they can exercise amongst their peers. Plus, some facilities have an outdoor wellness space so seniors can work out while breathing the fresh outdoor air.
You should always consult a physical therapist or your loved one’s GP first before engaging them in exercises for safety reasons.