If you feel like you aren’t able to enjoy physical activity as much as you used to, you are not alone. According to the United States Census Bureau, an estimated 11 million adults ages 65 and over experience an ambulatory difficulty, such as difficulty walking or climbing stairs. But having decreased or limited mobility does not mean you can’t still enjoy an active lifestyle. Here are five activities for elderly with limited mobility that are great for your physical, mental, and emotional health:
5 Activities To Try For Elderly With Limited Mobility
- Learning something new. Multiple research studies have proven that engaging in lifelong learning offers many health benefits – including improved memory, lower rates of anxiety, depression, acute and chronic disease, and even longer life expectancy. Whether it’s a new language, playing a musical instrument, cooking, crocheting, or other hobby – learning a new skill is a great way to stay active without needing to be mobile. Activities like reading, jigsaw puzzles, board/card games, crossword puzzles, and word searches are also easy and entertaining ways to apply your critical thinking skills and keep your mind sharp.
- Getting creative. Research has found that creative activities such as writing, drawing, coloring, painting, sculpting, woodworking, or other crafting can help decrease negative emotions, increase positive emotions, and reduce stress and anxiety. Whether you are an experienced or budding artist, exploring new ways to get your creative juices flowing is a healthy way to keep active.
- Being outside. Regardless of how mobile or active you are, any time spent outside is good for your sleep cycle, and maintaining healthy levels of Vitamin D. Hobbies like photography, bird watching, and light gardening are all great excuses to get outside, or you can simply find a comfortable spot to sit and enjoy the view!
- Exercising. Even if your movement is limited, there are still many activities for elderly with limited mobility who want to maintain an effective exercise routine. Many community organizations and fitness studios offer seated exercise or chair yoga classes for older adults – or you can find videos online if you prefer to exercise at home. There are also exercises that incorporate walkers for stability, and that focus on balance to help prevent falls.
- Staying social. Keeping connected and engaged with close friends and family is always a fantastic way to lead an active lifestyle. Whether you are communicating by phone, online, by mail, or in person, finding new and different ways to keep in touch with those who matter most to you is important. Many of the activities mentioned offer classes, clubs, or groups that allow you to participate in a social environment. Volunteering for a local charity is also a great way to practice your new skills and hobbies while making a positive difference for others.
Next Steps For Getting Active
Having limited mobility doesn’t mean you can’t be active. It’s all about exploring and finding new activities that you enjoy, and that meet your needs.