Around 30% of older adults have limited mobility due to conditions such as stroke, arthritis or fall-related injuries. Because mobility is a factor in quality of life, it’s important to find new ways for those with limited mobility to stay engaged, have fun and be social. These activities for seniors can help you get started.
5 Activities for Seniors with Limited Mobility
Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies for seniors, but tending a full outdoor garden might be too difficult for someone with limited mobility. Growing plants and herbs indoors makes it much easier to keep their thumb green. Look for easy-care plants such as African violet, Chinese evergreen, peace lily, peperomia, golden pothos, English ivy, and spider plant. If their residence has enough direct sunlight, herbs such as rosemary, parsley, thyme, sage, mint and basil can be grown in pots, adding wonderful aromas to the air and fresh flavor to food.
Exercise for seniors is important to maintain strength and balance. Yoga helps improve flexibility, strength and concentration. Chair yoga adapts yoga moves for those with limited mobility so they can still benefit from the practice. Gentle stretches and adapted poses can be done seated or standing, using the chair as support. Breathing and meditation techniques are sometimes included as well.
Arts and Crafts
Creative thinking keeps the mind sharp, and finding some easy crafts for seniors is a good way to do just that. Look into some of these creative options:
- Knitting or crocheting
- Quilt making
- Card making
- Embroidery or cross-stitch
It’s also possible to turn these creative efforts into more than just a hobby. Many seniors make blankets and clothing that are donated to local shelters or neonatal units. You can create artwork that can be sold at fundraising bazaars. And what you create can also be given as gifts to friends and family.
Listening to and playing music involves multiple parts of the brain, which makes music not only good for lifting the spirits, but good for intellectual stimulation, too. Piano, harmonica, ukulele, bongos and woodwind instruments can all be played while seated. There are online tutorials for learning how to play an instrument, and you can get on-demand lessons via the Yousician app.
Tracing and documenting family history is an ideal activity for seniors with limited mobility. It’s challenging, interesting, and requires very little physical activity. There are subscription-based databases such as Ancestry.com, and free ones like FamilySearch.org that hold a treasure trove of information and resources. You can also find workbooks to record genealogy information in. DNA tests from Ancestry and 23andMe can connect you to additional information — and may even connect you to family you didn’t know you had.
One of the advantages of being part of a senior living community is that you can always find ways to stay active and connect with others, no matter what your level of mobility is.
At Essex Meadows, our Health Center offers a range of senior health services, programs and activities. Learn about our skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and assisted living options.