One of the hardest things for seniors as they age can be losing mobility. Unfortunately, these issues are all too common, forcing millions of seniors to reduce their daily activities and making it harder for them to live and enjoy their hard-earned independence. Thankfully, however, a loss of mobility does not mean that life is over, and those of us who care for seniors have a responsibility to ensure that they are doing whatever they can in order to remain as active as possible. As such, here are activity ideas for seniors, even if they have mobility issues and can’t get around as much as they used to.
Exercise. Yes, this may sound contradictory, but exercise is critical for all of us – even seniors with mobility issues. Obviously, there are special considerations for seniors who may be mobility impaired, but it doesn’t change the fact that they should still exercise however possible. That may mean consulting with a doctor or other specialist, but once you have helped them develop a safe way to exercising, make sure that they stick to such a regimen as much as possible. Exercise can keep up a senior’s health and help slow other forms of physical or cognitive decline. Furthermore, there is no shortage of exercises available for the mobility inclined, including chair exercises, stretching, or yoga. Indeed, many exercise regimens have been developed that are specific for seniors who may not be able to move as well as they once could.
Engage Their Hobbies. All of us have hobbies, and it goes without saying that our seniors are no different. To that end, it’s worth asking them what sort of hobbies they enjoy. Do they like bird watching? Puzzles? Collecting things? Whatever their hobby, make sure you understand what they enjoy doing, and find a way to help them do it. This may involve some work on your part, but there are usually plenty of ways to keep our seniors engaged and having a good time, even if they have mobility issues.
Video Games. Yes, you read that right: Video games are not just for kids or teenagers. Indeed, some video game systems, like the Wii, were successful because they tapped into previously under-explored markets – like seniors. Obviously, all seniors won’t like video games, but certain games may be perfect for them. Furthermore, many seniors are now at the point where they played video games as adults, and it may be possible to purchase modern versions of the systems and games they once enjoyed.
Reading. Reading is often an ideal activity for seniors who have mobility issues, as it can keep them engaged and keep their minds sharp. Of course, many seniors may have other difficulties that make it harder for them to fully enjoy reading. Eyesight may be reduced, so you may have to purchase larger print books or get them eReaders that can make the print larger. Alternatively, you may have to investigate purchasing audiobooks for seniors, and you may have to spend some time showing them how to make this technology work.
Spend Time Outdoors. Having a senior who is mobility-impaired doesn’t mean they should be trapped inside all day. Indeed, just the opposite is true. You should try to help get your senior outside as much as possible, even if it’s a matter of sitting on a porch or going on brief walks. Being in nature is good for all of us, and this unquestionably includes seniors who may not be able to get out as much as they wish they could.
Explore the Internet. Being a senior no longer means that someone cannot enjoy the internet. Internet use is something that all of us can now enjoy – particularly the mobility-challenged. This may involve some education, of course, but you should be able to help your beloved senior learn how to use the internet. From there, show them a variety of resources that may be available, and give them ideas of things to search for. Seniors have also been found in increasing numbers on social networks like Facebook or Reddit, and if you are able, you can show them how to use these networks – being mindful, of course, in teaching them how to identify scammers.
Art. Even seniors who are not artistically inclined may find themselves more interested in artistic activities as they get older. Furthermore, art can be fantastic for people who have mobility issues, as it allows them to be creative, cognitively engaged, and potentially exposes them to additional social opportunities. Many senior centers have art classes that can be ideal for seniors, as they will provide them with all of these opportunities in a structured and social setting.
Board Games. Board games can be fun for all ages, but for seniors – and particularly those who have mobility issues – board games can be great fun. The trick is finding a game that they enjoy, and that is also enjoyed by those around them. One of the best things about board games is that they can be fun for all ages. This means that seniors can enjoy them with their friends, but also with their family members.
Seniors deserve more than just to be plopped in front of a television set all day, and there is ample medical information to show that seniors who engage in a robust schedule of activity can lead good, healthy, long, and prosperous lives. To that end, help your beloved senior friends and family members identify activities that can work with their limited range of mobility and allow them to enjoy themselves in their golden years.