Here is a roundup of some fantastic ideas I tried out to keep elderly parents busy and occupied.
When seniors are wheelchair bound, even for a short while, some can have tendency want to stay at home and not really do much. (This certainly doesn’t account for all seniors, and for some people, being wheelchair bound does not stop them from doing anything which is great!)
Hopefully you will find some of these activities useful for the seniors in your life.
1. Show and Tell
Encourage your children and parents to engage in a ‘show and tell game’ where each person brings along an object and tells the story of the item, how they got it, where it came from etc.. This is great practice for both seniors and children for their imagination and storytelling abilities.
Its a lovey way for grandparents to bond with their grandchildren too and this process can also be applied to people of the same age. Say in a residential home, you could organise an official ‘show and tell evening’ where everyone can bring an item and tell its story. This can provides great entertainment for the residents!
2. Write a letter or read a poem.
Maybe they have a long lost relation or friend from school.. either way I’m sure you could find and contact this person or a relative of their through Facebook.
How wonderful it would be to rekindle a friendship from years ago through a handwritten letter.
Poetry isn’t for everybody, but you never know until you’ve tried it. Pick up a book of poetry in a charity shop and hand it to an elderly relative, they might love it, they might hate it.
3. Play the Wii console!
Although for most kids and teenagers the original wii console is a thing of the past and is pretty outdated, for seniors it can be an absolute blast!
If you can set the console and game up for them, the bowling and tennis are a sure hit! They don’t need to know how to work electronics, (if you can set the game up for them!)
4. Go fishing!
Being in a wheelchair is perfect for fishing as you’re already relaxed and sitting down! Going fishing when you’re wheel chair bound is also a great way to meet people who have similar interests. Before you know it you could be making our afternoon fishing trip a regular thing.
5. Learn a new hobby or skill
When you think of seniors and hobbies, I bet the thing that springs to mind is knitting.. I don’t know why we go straight to knitting!
There are a tonne of new hobbies and talents that seniors can learn.
Encourage them to trying something they have never tried before and that they think they would never enjoy.
(I know from first hand experience just how stubborn seniors can be, but it just takes them to try that one new thing to become hooked on it!)
Painting is an excellent hobby to try out, especially for wheelchair bound people. It is also something they can stay indoors to do to!
Hobbies and skills take a long time to get good at. When you’re retired there is all the time in the world to learn new things.
6. Play board games or have a games tournament
A great way to get more than one elderly person involved. Especially if in a residential home or at a local community hall.
Board games are mental stimulating and and excellent way for people to communicate and have fun without having to worry about moving around.
7. Get them a tablet or kindle with ebooks on it!
Whilst many elderly people (this doesn’t only apply to wheelchair bound seniors), may avoid technology like the plague and resist any sort of device, a kindle or ebook reader is a first step towards technology and it really isn’t too scary.
Holding a book can put strain on the wrists, whereas holding a tablet is much easier. If you get a basic ebook reader, it will be simple enough for an elderly person to use (one who is not at all confident with technology.) You don’t want to many gadgets and apps on it, which will probably only stress them out.
The other great reason for ebooks and kindles for the elderly is that you can set the text size to be as big as is needed, buying books in large print can become quite expensive, whereas with a kindle, it doesn’t cost any more.
Saving the best until last….
8. Chair Yoga
Doing chair yoga is literally the perfect exercise for wheelchair bound seniors.
They can do it from their wheelchair and alone or in a group. You can get dvds that tell you what to do from home or perhaps you could encourage your wheelchair bound senior to attend a class where that can do wheelchair yoga with a group of other people.
It will give them a mood boost and help with their muscles, posture, strength and overall fitness and wellbeing!
There are so many more actives that would be perfect for wheelchair bound seniors, these are just 8 of my favourite. Leave a comment below with your favourite wheelchair activity and I will add it to my list if you like!