What are some ideas for activities that can be done by a senior with limited mobility by herself?

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Mom says she needs something to do. Recently I moved downstairs and mom feels "lonely" and needs something to do. She reads (limited authors) and watches TV but has problems with the TV remote and remembering how to get her programs on.

I have asked her to write letters to her grand children and she has said that is too tough. She likes to fold laundry. Not very crafty and cooking is out of the question.


Answers 1 to 10 of 13
Is there a senior center nearby? They usually have activities like chair yoga, music classes, outings and the like.
Books on tape could expand her listening library.

What did she enjoy doing when she was younger? Are there any ways those activities can be adapted to her limitations now?

Since she enjoys folding laundry, you do give her a bit of laundry to fold every day; just hold some of it off for the next day so you don't have to do laundry more frequently. If towels get wrinkled it won't hurt anything. Perhaps you could prioritize - stuff that gets wrinkled easily can be done one night, stuff that wrinkles less easily the next night, and things that don't wrinkle the next few nights.

Does she enjoy listening to music? Could you write out instructions for using a CD player?
With the TV remote, I took a picture of it, printed that out and put labels on what to do. "#1 - To turn on the TV, press here. #2 - to select your channel, press here."

I stuck it in a little book I made for my mom with instructions on how to do things. Now if she only could remember that book exists, LOL.

I'd also put paper/tape over anything she doesn't need to get her programs so they're not distracting. Could she do check-ins with fellow seniors to make sure they're OK (if she likes to talk/listen on the phone). Some volunteer programs have daily check-ins.
What about recording a voice message for her grand kids on a tape player or a Voice recorder?
Kindle, or larger tablet, easy to read, easy to use. Turn it on, let her push some buttons, do not teach it to her. Let her figure it out over time.
What about singing...kareoke? There are tons of CDs with music from any genre and era imaginable online that go in a dvd or laptop
Try a Fidget Quilt! There are lots of different styles and types. Some have lots of activities and some are just focused on textures, lace, ribbons etched. You can Find them online at Etsy, Google, EBay etc.
I would locate a VERY BASIC remote for her tv. I found one online for my cousin, back when she could use it, and it was very helpful. It only has On/Off, Channel Up/Down, and mute. I might also get a radio that can be left on one of her favorite stantions, so she only has to turn it on and off. You might tape over the other knobs so she won't fiddle with them and lose her station. I found that writing out instructions doesn't work that well for various things.

I know she has mobility issues, but if you could get her to a center even one day per week, it might be helpful to her mood. From my experience, having a person lead the activity is crucial. When there is mental decline due to age or dementia. the person often isn't equipped to be a self starter with activities. They often need leadership and direction to benefit from the activity. Or course, it depends on their ability level. Would she be able to turn on audio stories?

Would she be safe with plastic child's scissors? Would she like to cut pretty things out magazines and tape them into an album?
Top Answer
Cooking might be out of the question but she could make a sandwich, she can perhaps use an exercise bike (the armchair sort to exercise her legs and arms) she could perhaps she could make you note pads by cutting larger pieces of paper into 4 ready for you to staple. We have a shredder and while I do have to keep an eye on her it is mums favourite toy she will shred anything (and everything if I look the other way)

Decoupage is very very simple and she could do that it requires minimal effort but the effect is lovely. Mum hasn't cottoned on yet that we don't need to do this but I buy the very cheapest tissues and she decoupages the boxes before I use them. It isn't at all crafty honest even if it sounds it - its just tissue and glue.

Mum also cuts the pictures out from past cards and I use them on new cards to make some home made ones - then she splats glue everywhere and dusts them with glitter. If you are going to do this make sure you have plastic down..... that bloody glitter gets everywhere!

Give her some body cream and get her to massage her arms and if she can her legs. If she like folding laundry then just give her a whole pile of towels and ask her to fold them for you. Chances are she will do that at least once a day.

The radio will be something she is familiar with from her youth so try and find a station that plays older music. Videos are a good idea as long as you start them. Mum likes musicals best and the old ones - Gene Kelly Fred Astaire bing Crosby Frank Sinatra type.

You could get all the photos you have and ask her to put them in an album for you - it doesn't matter about the order you can sort that later and you would have something to talk about. In actual fact it was only through looking at very old photos I found out bits and pieces about the family - some good some not so much.

PhoenixDaughter...I'm happy I read your post. I'm pulling out old picture right after breakfast. This should keep my mom busy for DAYS!!!! God bless you, you answered my prayer!

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