What hobby would you recommend for an elderly man with limited mobility?
• Visual Art
Adult colouring books, drawing, painting, water colouring, paint-by-number, sculpting, and photography are all examples of visual art. In “Make More Art: The Health Advantages of Creativity,” Huffington Post blogger James Clear discusses the “physical and mental benefits of producing art, expressing oneself in a concrete form, and sharing something with the world.”
Much of the article relies on a review published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2010 titled The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health, which states that “Art enables people to express their experiences that are too difficult to put into words.” According to a survey of existing literature on the issue, “art can be a shelter from the powerful emotions associated with illness.” There are too many reasons to tap into your creative side, as you see now.
Textile arts is another creative type that people with mobility limitations can pursue as a hobby. Sewing, knitting, embroidery, cross-stitch, crocheting, weaving, and macrame are all examples. Older people can often help local churches, hospitals, and charities, like making blankets or hats for the poor. “Fidget” blankets and toys are delightful to sew.
“People with limited movement sometimes need to find creative methods to unleash their energy, and fidgeting is one of them,” according to Home Care Assistance. Fidget quilts get decorated with buttons, ribbons, snaps, zippers, and other textures to give touch-based sensory input that relieves tension, soothes nerves, and brings peace.
• Games and puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, and sudoku are affordable and can keep you entertained for a long time. A “brain game” called Nonograms, also called Picross or Griddlers, is the one you may not have heard of before now, but it’s fun to play. These tricky image logic puzzles come with a grid of squares that you must fill in, similar to crosswords or sudoku, except the cells must be coloured or left blank based on numbers on the side. When finished, it reveals a secret picture!
• Playing music
According to the earlier review, music therapy creates emotional balance by decreasing anxiety, tension, and even pain. Studies performed in the Institute on Aging found that “music improves physical fitness, psychological well-being, energy levels, memory, and more in older people.” Based on the American Seniors Housing Association studies, “playing music can help boost memory and mental concentration or be used as an emotional outlet.”
You can play the ukulele, harmonica, bongos, piano, and woodwind instruments from a sitting posture. You don’t even have to stand to play! It’s possible for older people who know how to use technology to get on-demand music lessons by downloading an app like Yousician on their smartphone, computer, or tablet. You can also buy a book for playing your favourite instrument or look up video tutorials on YouTube.
It is critical to preserve family history for future generations. Genealogy has become a fascination for people of all ages, thanks to modern advancements such as genetic DNA tests and online family trees. Fortunately for individuals with limited mobility, this demanding, fascinating, and enjoyable hobby does not need much physical exercise. Submit your family tree to a subscription-based database, such as http://ancestry.com/, and watch it grow into tales, images, and ties to history and relatives you may not have known.
http://familysearch.org/ is also a free website to save and search your family history and genealogy details. There are plenty of workbooks available for those who prefer to keep their family trees on paper. However, if you are computer proficient and don’t mind sending in your saliva, 23&Me offers you a new world of relatives (second cousins, third cousins) you never thought you had. It can not only tell you where your ancestors came from, but it can also connect you with live relatives you’ve never met before who have also sent in their DNA.
• Learn a New Language
Let’s be honest: with limited mobility, you’re unlikely to leave the country anytime soon. However, it does not prevent you from learning a new language! What nations and cultures tickle your interest? Learning a few words and phrases is not only enjoyable, but it is also good for your brain. Give your brain a workout, and you’ll get better concentration, intelligence, memory, and you may even be able to keep Alzheimer’s symptoms at bay.
Books are one way to study a language, but there are more options, such as Rosetta Stone software, the Duolingo app, and http://babbel.com/. Some libraries provide free in-person or online language classes. Many higher-ed institutions in the United States provide low-cost, if not free, college programs for seniors to study a language or anything else they like.