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5 Outdoor Activities Aging Adults in Wheelchairs Should Consider

By Erik Gans, 9:00 am on

If your senior loved one uses a wheelchair, enjoying the outdoors may be challenging for him or her. 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 in the outdoors had reduced inflammation. Help your loved one enjoy the outdoors with these activities.

1. Fishing

Fishing is a popular sport among seniors, and it can be shared with grandchildren or 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 is 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 a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Westport, CT, 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 in the outdoors. Picking up a book on local plants from the library or bookstore can help your loved one identify the different flowers and plants he or she sees, which can engage his or her mind in between visits.

3. Horseback Riding

Various studies have shown horseback riding can be therapeutic to 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 on the horse, trained instructors can help your loved one ride and develop a relationship with the horse.

 Engaging in outdoor activities is one of the many ways seniors can socialize. For families living in Westport, CT, 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.

4. Archery

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.

5. Stargazing

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 that are 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 is no local astronomy club in your loved one’s 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.

 Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Westport, Connecticut, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Call us at 203-955-1915 to learn about our premier care plans.