Activities for Seniors Confined to a Wheelchair

By Jennifer Erchul
Seniors who are wheelchair dependant still can lead active lives.

Seniors confined to a wheelchair may feel limited in their activity options, but there are many things they can do and participate in. Most public buildings are wheelchair accessible, and many areas have accessible transit options, too. Seniors reliant on wheelchairs have several activity options available to them.

Games

Seniors in wheelchairs are more mobile than you might think. Many communities have wheelchair sports, such as adaptive basketball, tennis, volleyball and track. The games are slightly restructured to give senior wheelchair-dependent athletes a fair chance, but the competition is fierce. If team sports or athletics do not appeal to your senior, introduce him to board games, puzzles, word finds and card games. Play these at a table where he can sit in his wheelchair comfortably.

Outdoors

Seniors confined to wheelchairs are able to participate in many of life’s simple pleasures. Encourage your senior to take advantage of good weather and explore local paved paths and smooth sidewalks. Many public lakes have wheelchair accessible docks for people to fish from, enjoy the view or use to get on a boat. Larger pontoon boats easily accommodate wheelchairs, as do some flat-topped fishing boats. Public parks often have covered pavilions on cement slabs available for picnics, potlucks and parties. If your senior enjoys gardening, build a raised bed she can tend to from her wheelchair.

Indoors

Cooking and entertaining friends can be done from a wheelchair, as can most household tasks. Seniors who enjoy socializing can attend community dances, Bingo nights and parties, though not every building is wheelchair accessible. Community classes are commonly held in schools or public buildings that are accessible, so if your senior wants to learn a new skill, refresh her foreign language skills or participate in a craft class, being in a wheelchair shouldn’t stop her. A senior can sing in a choir, play hand bells or other instruments. She can join a knitting group or book club, provided the group meets in an accessible area.

About the Author

Jennifer Erchul has been a freelance writer since 2002. Writing primarily about family and travel, her work has appeared in the "Idaho State Journal," "Portnuef Valley Parents Magazine" and "Western Flyfisher." She writes for numerous websites and is a published author. Erchul studied English and psychology at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn.