9 Fun Activities for Mobility-Limited Seniors

Guest Contributor Lauren Groff Memory Cafe Directory

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9 Fun Activities for Mobility-Limited Seniors

Guest Contributor:
Lauren Groff

It can be frustrating for seniors to find their mobility isn’t what it used to be. Almost every senior person encounters the issue of limited mobility at some point and can cause significant mental and physical issues if left unchecked. Mobility is typically reduced due to a combination of factors but often it can be attributed as the result of a fall, stroke, arthritis, or even a chronic injury.

For individuals living with dementia, it can be a more significant challenge to get regular activity. Mobility may or may not be an issue, but being active safely can be elusive and is causes challenges to find senior activities.

The concern is that life becomes dull when we can’t engage in the activities we used to enjoy. But living with reduced mobility doesn’t mean resigning yourself to a life of boredom. In fact, life with reduced mobility can be both fun and rewarding.

To help keep the good times coming here are 9 wonderful ways for seniors with limited mobility to keep on enjoying life.

1 Catch up on your reading

Memory Joggers on Memory Cafe DirectoryWhether it be for pleasure, as a means of escape, or as a way to learn, reading is a way to explore the world and the people in it all from the comfort of an armchair.

The benefits of reading are numerous. The simple act of reading improves brain function; delays the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia; boosts memory, and even improves sleep quality. A good book really is one of the joys in life and is something that can be enjoyed despite limited mobility or eyesight difficulties.

For a fun, interactive dementia activity, consider Memory Joggers. These are free sets of familiar sayings with the very last word omitted. Say the phrase, and ask your loved one to finish it. Not only is this a fun form of trivia, but the recall action helps improve memory.

For those with eyesight issues, e-readers – such as the Kindle from Amazon – can be a life-changer. These devices allow seniors to adjust the size of the text making reading easier.

Alternatively, audiobooks are a great way to share a reading experience, allowing multiple people to experience a story together. Audible from Amazon has an enormous collection.

2 Take some light exercise

Even with reduced mobility, exercise is important, keeping our hearts healthy, and releasing some always-welcome endorphins.

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For mobility-limited seniors, the prospect of exercise can seem daunting. However, there are many light exercise activities that even those limited to wheelchairs can enjoy.

From arm raises to neck stretches, chair exercises significantly reduce the risk of falling and provide necessary back support. For the less-frail senior, some light weights can even be introduced to encourage muscle retention. Or why not take a look at chair yoga, an extremely gentle form of exercise.

Alongside better flexibility, strength, and blood circulation, light exercise is a great mood booster too, encouraging the brain to release “feel good” hormones called endorphins. Endorphines are a fantastic anxiety reliever and help regulate sleeping patterns, useful for those with insomnia.

3 Get creative with arts & crafts

Arts and craft projects are great senior activities and provide a wonderful outlet for a senior’s creative sides. Even for seniors with limited dexterity, there are plenty of ways to enjoy craftwork.

Here are just some ideas to get you started:

  • Scrapbooking
  • Drawing and coloring
  • Sculpting
  • Painting
  • Felting
  • Knitting
  • Baking

With each activity able to be tailored to suit the individual senior’s abilities, arts and crafts provide a fantastic way to relax and express their creativity.

4 Find peace of mind with meditation

Meditation is a great way for seniors to counteract anxiety and foster a sense of wellbeing. Done alone, or in a group, the activity can be performed lying down, standing, sitting, or even kneeling.

By sitting quietly, breathing slowly, and letting thoughts come and go of their own accord, seniors can experience the many benefits that meditation affords us.

Meditation has even been proven to help seniors come to terms with the challenges that come with aging. While many seniors will have never tried meditation before, it is effectively a really powerful stress reliever that simply leaves you feeling calm.

5 Let loose and play some games

Games are a great way to keep the mind active and keep seniors socializing. The best thing is, most games and puzzles can be played from a sitting position.

Solo activities like jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, and Solitaire for Seniors allow our senior community to enjoy some time to themselves. Whereas board games and card games provide an opportunity to be a little competitive and have some fun with friends, maintaining vital social connections.

The task of focussing on a game is also welcome brain activity, improving blood flow and the benefits that come as a result. Learn about a wonderful integrated activity system from A Mind to Care.

There’s also the possibility of some motion-based videogames like Wii bowling that has been shown to be a complete success with seniors, even played from a chair.

6 Explore a world of TV, Movies, and YouTube Channels

Limited mobility can also be a chance to relax with a good drama, watching cooking shows, or indulging in a movie. With the activity being entirely passive, seniors anywhere on the mobility spectrum can enjoy this activity.

As well as terrestrial TV and DVDs, there are also streaming options with Netflix and On-Demand services like Amazon Prime (FREE TRIAL!) that allow seniors to watch exactly what they want to, rather than simply channel hopping – unless that’s their thing!

Youtube also provides a fantastic opportunity for seniors to indulge new hobbies and interests by subscribing to channels of their choice. This entertainment medium allows a much more personal form of viewership and can be enjoyed as a group or alone.

7 Take up some new hobbies

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Hobbies are perhaps one of the best ways for seniors to enjoy their time. Including:

  • Light gardening
  • Learning a language
  • Learning an instrument
  • Birdwatching
  • Recipe making
  • Genealogy
  • Adult learning classes

We don’t get to enjoy these sorts of things when life is hectic, so the slower pace of senior life is the perfect chance to explore these new hobbies.

These activities are great for keeping the mind active and maintaining a zest for life without requiring too much physical movement. Seniors can simply keep exploring the world of hobbies until they hit upon one they really enjoy.

8 Receive visitors

One of the best things in life is sitting with family and friends and simply talking. And this simple activity can be enjoyed by even the most severely mobility-limited seniors.

Engaging with seniors is rewarding for both parties and being able to draw on a lifetime of experience for advice and interesting stories is invaluable.

A visit from a young child is especially welcome, or even a well-trained dog. These types of visits bring nothing but joy to everyone involved and help reduce stress and anxiety for the senior.

Alternatively, communal discussions amongst seniors in assisted living is a fantastic way to keep minds sharp and socialize. This sort of activity can involve everyone regardless of mobility and leads to everyone feeling part of the discussion.

Porch Memory Cafe Directory

Enjoy the outdoors – even from a porch or patio!

9 Spend time in the great outdoors

While limited mobility does hinder our ability to explore nature and the outdoors, it doesn’t need to stop us completely.

Time spent outdoors – breathing fresh air and taking in the open sky – really helps boost the mood of seniors, and should be part of a daily routine.

While treks up mountains may not be possible, a quiet hour sitting on a porch or next to a large window is a worthy substitute.

This feeling of “getting out” is important to maintaining mental health and can often lead to seniors feeling more implanted in communities as they can see and talk to passers-by.

Lauren Groff

Guest Contributor Lauren Groff on Memory Cafe Directory

Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff is an editor for Paper Fellows and writes about health for Essay Writing and State Of Writing. Lauren is an expert writer on poetry activities for seniors.





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