If your senior loved one uses a wheelchair, enjoying the outdoors may be challenging. However, taking the time to enjoy the outdoors not only alleviates boredom, but it can also boost your loved one’s health. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Cardiology found that seniors who spent time outdoors had reduced inflammation. Help your loved one enjoy the outdoors with these activities.
Fishing is a popular sport among seniors, and it can be shared with grandchildren and other family members. Many lakes and rivers now accommodate people in wheelchairs. If your loved one prefers to fish from a boat, a rented pontoon boat is wide enough for a wheelchair to fit in. Adaptive fishing equipment can help your loved one maneuver the fishing pole with one hand while it’s clamped onto the side of the wheelchair.
Caring for a loved one with limited mobility can be a challenging task. Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
2. Visiting a Garden or Arboretum
Most public gardens and arboretums have paved paths that allow seniors in wheelchairs to explore the beautiful flowers, plants, and trees. Picking up a book on local plants from the library or a bookstore can help your loved one identify the different flowers and plants he or she sees, which can engage his or her mind between visits.
3. Horseback Riding
Various studies have shown horseback riding can be therapeutic for seniors. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found seniors who rode horses for eight weeks had healthier cortisol and serotonin hormone levels. Therapeutic horseback riding facilities have ramps and specialized mounting blocks to help those who are in wheelchairs mount the horses safely. Once your loved one is on the horse, a trained instructor can help him or her ride and establish a relationship with the horse.
Engaging in outdoor activities is one of the many ways seniors can socialize. For families living in Tucson, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
Archery can strengthen your loved one’s upper body muscles and enhance his or her hand-eye coordination. Most outdoor archery facilities have ramps and platforms that are wheelchair accessible. Adaptive archery equipment is available to help seniors who find it difficult to draw back the bow.
Don’t limit your loved one’s outdoor activities to the daytime. At night, seniors can enjoy the cooler weather by stargazing. Many local astronomy clubs have wheelchair-accessible telescopes. Call your nearby astronomy club and ask about upcoming trips designed for wheelchair-bound seniors. By engaging in this activity, your loved one can learn which stars are visible during the different seasons of the year, which can build his or her confidence and interest when attempting to stargaze at home. If there’s no local astronomy club in the community, acquire a book and a telescope and head to the local park with your loved one to point out the different constellations to each other.
Tucson senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. If you need professional home care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (520) 276-6555.