Arthritis is swelling or tenderness of one or more joints. It causes pain and reduces the mobility. That’s why, the life of people (mostly elderly) with arthritis becomes difficult with time. Not being able to move most of the time, seniors with arthritis often feel lonely and out of place. It’s your responsibility to accompany them, and incorporate productive and easy hobbies in their lives, that’ll help them forget the pain and get busy. For that purpose, take a look at our list of top 10 hobbies for seniors with arthritis.
Yoga activities can be adapted in different forms for seniors with arthritis. It’s a great way to exercise, without over-exerting yourself. If a person is attending physical classes, it’s better to talk to the instructor and ask them to avoid strenuous activities. In 2018, researchers concluded that yoga effectively reduces the symptoms of knee arthritis. It also improves the patient’s functional capacity. Also,
- Regular yoga sessions for people with arthritis can reduce their joint pain, and physical stress, and improve flexibility, by lowering stress and promoting peaceful sleep.
- According to Sharon Mklasinski, MD, a rheumatologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, yoga helps seniors with arthritis, i.e. builds their muscle strength and improves balance.
While a senior with arthritis might not dance the same as a teenager, it is still a low-impact, social and enjoyable exercise. However, they have to be mindful of their limitations and fall risk. Seniors can also try ballroom dancing or line dancing. This way, they can also meet new people, have fun times together and make new friends. Additionally, if a person with arthritis makes friends with the same health condition, it’d be easy for them to go through the whole process.
Gardening is one of the favorite activities of seniors. If they also invest in some joint-friendly gardening tools, it’d be a great and productive hobby. In case bending causes them pain, try raising their flower beds, to make the process easier.
According to the research, gardening helps improve physical and psychological health. It’s a great way to step outside and get your daily dose of vitamin D, which is vital for bone health and its deficiency is also linked with depression. To let your loved ones experience the art of gardening in its full form, make sure they follow these rules,
- Take the garden to a higher level by using raised flowerbeds, to eliminate stooping.
- Use joint-friendly and easy-to-handle gardening tools.
- Practice correct posture, by keeping items close to the body when carrying them and standing or sitting up straight while working, and changing positions often.
- Take frequent breaks, so that arthritis pain doesn’t build up.
Cooking is also another form of art and an engaging hobby for most seniors with arthritis. They can prepare their meals, just the way they like, by trying out different recipes and ingredients. Seniors like most American’s tend to love breakfast. Some arthritis-friendly pots and pans can even elevate their cooking experience, without putting them in the way of harm. Additionally, they can also use some of these ingredients, that are good for arthritis pain,
- Salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel
- Berries, apples, and pomegranates
- Canola and olive oils
- Ginger and turmeric
- Whole grains
- Dark chocolate
It might seem ridiculous for people with arthritis, as stitching requires a lot of hand movements, but these intricate hand movements can also help improve the hand grip. To ease the process of knitting, cross-stitch, and crocheting, arthritis patients can follow these tips and tricks.
- Try using alternatives to metal needles, such as bamboo needles, which are warmer and lightweight.
- Stick with wool blends, as wool is more elastic than cotton or other fibers, and easier to manipulate.
Cycling is one of the most refreshing summer activities for seniors that is a great alternative to walking and running. Whether the person rides a stationary bike (perfect for people with arthritis) or a cycle, it doesn’t matter, as long as it serves the purpose. Additionally,
- Cycling improves the movement of joints and muscle building in the legs, and that too without putting too much pressure on joints.
- Strengthened muscles can protect the joints and improve mobility.
- According to researchers, high or moderate-intensity cycling bear the same health benefits.
- Bocce Ball
If your loved one is being grumpy lately, and you don’t know how to deal with the winter blues of your elderly, bocce ball might be a perfect choice. This game is played like bowling, but with lighter balls. Developing this game as a hobby is ideal for people with arthritis in the shoulders or hands.
When throwing the ball, the player won’t need to bend too far and may just need to adapt the standing position according to their bending limitations. Therefore, Bocce Ball is an adaptable game that involves strategic thinking and will be a good workout for the body and mind.
Painting is another artistic and great hobby for people with arthritis. Michelangelo, one of the greatest Italian painters, who also had osteoarthritis in his hands, is living proof. You can buy some arthritis-friendly paint brushes, with soft grips, for your seniors, so that they can easily hold onto them. Painting, as a hobby, can significantly improve their flexibility and ease stiffness. Also, the creative process will give them a sense of achievement and uplift their mood.
Just like knitting and painting, pottery is another therapeutic art that can help seniors with arthritis. It is a great form of physical exercise that doesn’t put extra pressure on the body. It’s tactile and gives people a sense of accomplishment, seeing their clay transform into something new and unique.
Pottery is gentle on the hands and the use of hot water, during work, also soothes the joint. For people with arthritis in the hands, it mobilizes the hands, (improving their function), promotes joint movement and dexterity, and manages the arthritis pain well. Like many other art forms, the pottery also reduces stress and improves mental and physical well-being.
- Memory Games
When physical activities are out of reach for aging loved ones, try to incorporate some mind games in their lives, to help them stay alert and focused. Seniors can greatly benefit from these kinds of unique cognitive stimulation and socialization. Some of these memory games may include,
- Learning a new language
- Trivia games or board games
- Online games
Beat Arthritis – with Meaningful Activities!
Arthritis is a common health condition and although it does affect the quality of life, it doesn’t mean that one should give up on life. Look out for some meaningful activities/hobbies for your seniors that improves their body movements and help them achieve a sense of accomplishment. We hope that our list of top 10 hobbies for seniors with Arthritis helped you pick some for your loved elderly. Even if it didn’t, continue your search and find the one that better aligns with their interests and body limitations.