What kind of hobby would be good for my elderly father who walks with a cane? He has OCD and is constantly looking for something to obsess over or worry about. He needs something to occupy his mind. Can you help me find anything for him?
Elderly people are going “out of the box” when they switch locations (moving in with a child or into an assisted living home), and stress factors increase. Suppose the stress levels increase, the habit of cleaning when nervous may become a full-blown obsession over time. Living with someone with OCD is particularly difficult because of their compulsions. You may need to provide support. It’s sometimes called accommodation.
Offering reassurance about their obsessive thoughts and behaviours is one example of how to help them carry out their compulsions. It can increase someone’s anxiety and make things more difficult for both of you if you refuse to help. However, helping someone with a compulsion is rarely helpful long-term. When someone follows a compulsion (e.g., asking for reassurance), they reinforce the belief that this is the only way to deal with their anxiety.
• Learn a Foreign Language
Since you have limited mobility, it’s unlikely that you’ll be leaving the country anytime soon. However, you can still learn a new language! Is there a country or culture that interests you? It isn’t just fun to learn new words and phrases, but it is also good for your brain.
If you work out your brain, you’ll gain more concentration, intelligence, and memory, as well as possibly delay Alzheimer’s symptoms. In addition to books, there are other ways to learn a language, such as Rosetta Stone software, the Duolingo app, and http://babbel.com/. Library websites often provide free classes too. Plus, several universities in the US offer cheap or free college classes for seniors to learn languages or any other subject.
It may seem impossible for those with limited mobility to participate in this healthy hobby, but there are many accessible exercises that they can do from a chair. It’s essential to try to get around, regardless of how difficult it is. The disability community has a saying that states, “if you don’t walk, you won’t walk.” Make sure that your father moves every day, at least for a short distance, with the assistance of a walker, if necessary. “The spine is your lifeline,” chiropractors often say.
Yoga may seem impossible if you have limited mobility, but this slow-paced workout can be adapted to anyone. Practicing yoga poses from a seated position using a chair or a walker for added stability. Seniors benefit greatly from yoga. Along with improving balance, muscle strength, and flexibility, you may also regain some mobility.
• Listening to Podcasts
Podcasts are replacing the radio. A podcast can be found on just about anything if you have a smartphone, tablet, or computer. There are endless options for entertainment, self-help, educational and informative content. There’s even the option of listening to an entire book as you go. Also, it’s available at any time!
Regardless of the level of mobility, you can participate in this activity or hobby from a wheelchair, bed, lift chair, etc. Writing helps focus the mind and reduces stress and anxiety. You can reminisce about past experiences, express yourself, and explore new ideas through journaling, poetry, memoirs, and more.