Aging is one of those inevitable chapters in life that brings new challenges, opportunities, and experiences. Some of these are exciting and enriching while others we could do without. Perhaps the least anticipated is the loss of mobility due to an array of conditions such as stroke, debilitating arthritis, injuries from falling, or disease. Conditions like these are often accompanied by a significant decline in motor coordination and mobility, and activities and hobbies we used to enjoy nearly every day may become too difficult.
This is an entirely new mindset to get used to. From the moment we learn to walk we discover freedom and carry that for the better part of our lives. Losing mobility and that freedom is a very difficult and unwelcome reality.
For example, mobility loss due to a hip fracture, fall, or extensive surgery is particularly difficult for many people to manage. Decreasing mobility also tends to initiate lack of motivation, loneliness, and negative thinking, and many seniors seem to believe “that’s just the way it is” and park themselves in front of a television all day. But loss of mobility doesn’t mean you can’t have fun anymore. Life is still a rewarding and stimulating gift; it is simply a matter of re-evaluating this new scenario and aligning with a positive outlook.
Turn the page
We have known for generations that a healthy diet, exercise, and overall sensible life choices contribute to increased energy. However, relatively recent research also shows that mental and social activity is just as important as physical activity in helping seniors regain an energetic vibe. Hobbies, various gentle activity, and social interaction are incredibly beneficial in recreating mobility and avoiding loneliness.
Loss of mobility is not a one-way ticket to all-day game show watching. There are lots of ways to infuse fun into the day that don’t require a lot of movement. As a loving family member, you can help by “creating” mobility in different ways such as getting them out of the house to see some different scenery, taking them to social events, and including them with daily chores around the house.
Let’s take a look at a collection of tried and true mobility-inspiring hobby ideas for seniors:
- Creative writing
- Study genealogy
- Get your video game on
- Establish an exercise routine
- Get outside
- Work with your hands
- Game time
- Help out a charity
- Establish regular visits
With a lifetime of stories at the ready, writing is an excellent way to share them. Consider writing courses online or through community education.
The internet is a wonderful resource to explore family history and genealogy makes a great hobby for seniors. It’s challenging, engaging, and fun while helping seniors gain computer confidence.
Get your video game on
As much as we admonish youngsters for spending hours engrossed in video games, that type of activity can be a stimulating hobby for seniors with limited mobility. Puzzles and memory games are popular and hands-on games help with dexterity.
Reading is of course a very popular activity for seniors and for good reason. It keeps the brain stay engaged, improves memory, reduces stress, and helps us sleep better.
Establish an exercise routine
Even with less mobility, there are still plenty of options for senior to stay active and keep their bodies moving. Chair exercises and yoga routines are popular, and some routines incorporate walkers for stability while helping to reduce swelling in feet and ankles.
Nature is a powerful elixir for the soul and simply being out in it relaxes and inspires. Limited mobility might cancel plans to climb a mountain but seniors can still sit on the porch or join friends at an outdoor commons area in the sunshine.
Work with your hands
Many activities perfect for seniors with limited mobility don’t involve a lot of moving around. Consider woodworking, knitting, indoor gardening, or learning a language.
There are hundreds of games of all types available for seniors. Some can be played in groups, and others are designed for one-on-one engagement.
Help out a charity
We can always give back to others or our community and participating with a charitable organization helps seniors feel a sense of purpose.
Establish regular visits
Most everyone lights up when a smiling child bounds into the room, especially if he brings his new puppy. Schedule regular visits from friends and family to boost cheer.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.