9 Enjoyable Activities for Seniors with Limited Mobility

These suggested activities for seniors with limited mobility help boost mood and engagement in life

By Connie Chow, Founder at DailyCaring

Seniors with limited mobility can still enjoy a variety of activities

Many older adults lose mobility due to conditions like stroke, severe arthritis, or injuries from falls.

When that happens, activities and hobbies they used to enjoy might now be too difficult.

But loss of mobility doesn’t mean the end of good times. There are many ways to have fun, boost mood, and stay engaged in the world without needing to move around too much.

To help you find things that suit your older adult’s interests, we rounded up 9 wonderful activities for seniors with limited mobility.


9 great activities for seniors with limited mobility

1. Spend time reading
Reading is a fantastic activity for older adults. It’s a fun way to spend time and keep the brain engaged.

It can also improve memory, reduce stress, improve sleep, and delay cognitive decline.

Whether your older adult likes reading physical books, magazines, using an e-reader, or listening to audiobooks, they can immerse themselves in a well-told story, look at photographs, or learn about an interesting new topic.

Organizing a book club among their friends is another way for seniors to enjoy reading and socializing.


2. Explore a variety of hobbies
Hobbies are great for older adults with limited mobility.

Activities that don’t require a lot of moving around include cooking, baking, birdwatching, knitting, crochet, indoor or container gardening, playing a musical instrument, or learning a language.

This is also a perfect time to learn something new – maybe there are hobbies or interests they’ve never had a chance to explore before.

Learning is also a great way to keep the mind active and prevent boredom.


3. Exercise regularly
Even if your older adult isn’t very mobile, there may still be exercises they can do to get their bodies moving.

Whether they’re sitting or standing, they can still get the health and mood benefits, especially from seated exercises or chair yoga routines.

There are also exercise routines that can be done using a walker for stability or just focused on the feet and ankles to reduce swelling.


4. Get creative
Getting in touch with their creative side is another fun way for seniors to spend time.

Drawing, coloring, painting, and sculpture are all wonderful ways to be creative. Fun projects might include creating scrapbooks, organizing family photo albums, or making a family recipe book.

As a plus, being creative also comes with health benefits.

Research has found creative activities can help people who are battling chronic illness to decrease negative emotions and increase positive ones, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve medical outcomes.


5. Spend time outdoors
Getting outside to spend a little time in nature is relaxing and a great mood booster.

Even if their limited mobility means that your older adult can only get to the porch or sit next to a big window, getting some fresh air or viewing the scenery is a great everyday activity.


6. Have fun with happy visitors
Asking family or friends with babies or friendly pets to stop by for a visit is another fantastic way to engage an older adult.

Almost everyone perks up in the presence of young children. And playing with pets is another surefire way to bring cheer and reduce stress.


7. Play games!
Games and puzzles are a fantastic source of fun times.

There are so many to choose from and most can be played in groups with visitors, one-on-one for quality time together, and solo.

Try some classic games or card games, jigsaw puzzles, or crossword puzzles.


8. Enjoy movies, TV shows, or music
Watching TV all day, every day isn’t a healthy pastime, but a movie or a couple of TV shows can be an enjoyable part of the day or week.

Watching TV could even intersect with a hobby.

For example, your older adult might be interested in watching a documentary on a topic they’re learning about. Or, channels like the Food Network or the Travel Channel could inspire new recipes to try or travel destinations to learn about.

Listening (or singing along!) to music they enjoy is another great activity.

Music has the power to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain. It also improves immune function and sleep as well as helping memory.


9. Participate in charitable works
Even if your older adult isn’t very mobile or is homebound, they can still give back to the community.

This is a wonderful way to stay engaged and feel a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

Contact local charities, hospitals, or religious organizations to find out if they have any projects your older adult could contribute to. That could mean knitting or crocheting blankets or hats, creating no-sew blankets, or helping to assemble care packages.


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Author: Connie Chow, founder at DailyCaring, was a hands-on caregiver for her grandmother for 20 years – until grandma was 101 years old! Connie has an MBA from the University of Southern California and has been featured on major news outlets, including WJCL22 Savannah (ABC), KRON4 San Francisco, NBC10 Philadelphia, 23ABC Bakersfield, KAGS Texas (NBC), and KVAL13 Oregon (CBS). She has spoken at Institute on Aging, written for Sixty and Me, and been quoted in top publications, including U.S. News & World Report, HuffPost, and Society of Senior Advisors.


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  • Reply October 9, 2021


    Tabletop Role Playing Games are something that people of all ages can do. People that cannot experience things in real life can experience them whith a tabletop roleplaying game like Fate Core. You are a character in the game world and experience what that character are doing. Fate Core is a good game because it’s possible to play anything with it. You can see whatever film you like and then build up that world and play your character in that world.

    After the game you remember what happened during the play and you can talk about it with the other players that also played in that game. The game gives new memories to talk about.

  • Reply June 9, 2021


    A lot of these suggestions seem to be geared towards mom’s. What about dad’s? My dad is almost 95. He has been exercising too much that his legs swelled. The doctor told him to lay of the weights but still exercise. But besides reading what else is there for a 95 year old to do?

  • Reply January 27, 2021

    jill threadgold

    Thank you for all your ideas and suggestions for things a senior can do to pass the time when there is limited mobility. I have found them very helpful and look forward to trying them out.

    • Reply January 27, 2021


      You’re very welcome! We’re so glad they’re useful.

    • Reply March 28, 2021

      Judy Russell

      You are a Godsend! What you shared, amazing knowledge, thank you beyond. When searching Google, help, mom is 81, i read your article and shame on me for not taking time to enjoy mom. Today a new day, and because you shared, I will be a better caregiver for mom. I will include her instead of diy. Thank you again

      • Reply March 28, 2021


        You’re already doing wonderfully and it’s great that you found some new ideas here that will be helpful in the future ❤️

  • Reply January 16, 2021

    Audrey Terrell

    I am 68 years old. I am healthy, thank God. I walk daily, do yoga and swim. I try to eat healthy and drink wine occasionally. Love to dance, play spades and bid whisk. I would like to join or start a like group of seniors. This pandemic will end and I would like to have formed or started like minded group. Any recommendations or advice…

    • Reply January 16, 2021


      That’s wonderful! You might want to contact local senior centers or community centers to find out about the types of groups and activities they have available, both now and in pre-pandemic times.

  • Reply January 8, 2021

    melody dermardirossian

    I think these are all good suggestions and I have used them to help with the care of my own mom. I have another activity that my mom enjoyed and that was getting a old fashioned back rub or hands or feet it really does wonders for there comfort and enjoyment. or coloring books for adults using markers or word search booklets or crossword puzzles and getting them outdoors if possible to soak up some fresh air and sunshine really boosts the morale

    • Reply January 8, 2021


      Those are wonderful suggestions, thank you for sharing!

  • Reply July 22, 2020

    pat wink

    my client is in the middle of her life. so she has the demenia and we are having a trouble of get her on and off the potty. She has a grip that would not get her off the w/c and on to the potty.
    Do you have any saggesions for that?
    Thank you

  • Reply October 16, 2019

    Jean Weier, MA

    Whenever I read one of your articles I feel it just touches the very tip of the iceberg and I need much more in depth material. Too simplistic is just that too simple.

    • Reply October 17, 2019


      Do you have specific questions that we can help answer?

      • Reply July 3, 2020


        How do you motivate a senior to want to play a game, do a jigsaw puzzle etc when all they do is sleep their lives away all day with the TV on in the background?

        • Reply July 4, 2020


          If someone is very fatigued and needs to sleep a lot, it’s a good idea to rule out a health condition, untreated pain, depression, medication side effect, or other medical issue that’s causing it.

          Assuming there are no medical issues, it’s great to offer a variety of activity options in hopes of finding something that appeals to them. You might need to experiment before you find something they’re interested in. Or arrange to do something together with them, having company might be a motivating factor.

          It’s wonderful to try your best to engage them, but ultimately, you can’t force someone to do things if they really don’t want to.

      • Reply November 16, 2020

        Bob Sorenson

        My wife and I are in our 80’s–she 85, I am 84
        I have copied your list of activities and we do
        several each week: ie we go to a local park, bring
        chairs and a small table , coffee, a donut…….
        and we work a crossword puzzle. It is lots of fun:
        being together, watching people, working a puzzle,
        being out at a park w/ Green trees and grass.
        And we always look forward to next week.
        [personal info redacted for privacy]

        • Reply November 16, 2020


          That’s fantastic! We’re so glad that you and your wife are enjoying so many fun activities 🙂

        • Reply December 14, 2020


          Bob- Your comment here touched me. What I read into it is you and your wife have the upbeat attitude that is needed to engage in life.

          My 93 year old mother has so much going for her but without the upbeat attitude like yours. Like one of the other comments said, ultimately she has to want to do it herself.

          Just knowing you and your wife are enjoying your days touched my heart. Thank you.

      • Reply January 3, 2021


        My mother in law is 95 years old memory good but she had a fall and fractured her right arm after that she is confused every two seconds walks from reclining chair to the bed . I am scared she will have a fall please advise she get agitated if we tell her not to do it

        • Reply January 13, 2021


          If your mother-in-law is experiencing confusion or odd behavior after her fall, it would be best to have her doctor do a thorough examination to rule out cognitive issues caused by the fall.

          Since you can’t prevent her from walking around, do your best to make the area safer to reduce her risk of injury. Or she may need more supervision so someone can jump in to steady her if she loses her balance.

          This article shares a guide that helps improve home safety – Home Modifications for Seniors: A Room-by-Room Guide for Safety and Independence https://dailycaring.com/home-modifications-for-seniors-a-room-by-room-guide/

          It might also help to provide enjoyable, soothing activities to help her feel more calm and not get bored. We have a wide variety of activity ideas here – https://dailycaring.com/category/daily-care/activities-older-adults/

  • Reply October 12, 2019

    Clarence Sexton

    Looking for mother. Looking for somewhere she can do activities , on daily basis . To get her out of house. And occupy her time. On the days she wants to. Thank you .

    • Reply October 14, 2019


      That’s a great idea. You might want to start by contacting local senior centers and adult day programs to see if they’re offering something that would suit your mother. You may also want to contact your local Area Agency on Aging to find out if they can connect you with other local organizations that may be helpful.

      More info here:
      — Adult Day Programs Help Seniors Live at Home Longer https://dailycaring.com/adult-day-services-help-seniors-live-at-home-longer/
      — Area Agency on Aging: Resources for Seniors https://dailycaring.com/area-agency-on-aging-resources-for-seniors/

    • Reply November 12, 2021


      If the person is a veteran, the VA has a Caregiving Benefit which pays for someone to come in and help with your veteran. It takes a lot of paperwork but they will assist you with that. This has helped me with dad immensely!

      • Reply November 12, 2021


        So glad that the VA was able to provide help to your dad and you!

  • Reply August 19, 2019

    Arturo Blackburn

    Well this might be off topic my name is art I have a 63yr.young mother ☺which I love dearly.my mothers boyfriend is the same age as her.thenproblem is recently my mother had told me he yalks.down on her because of her weight my mother been with him 9yrs and it makes me sad to know and see her depressed she still and always will. E a beautiful woman.but her boyfriend made her lose all her friends he moved out I think cause of me or it was just a excuse to be out running the streets
    I knowingly known spends money on other woman.and my mother knows this also.but I feel does not have the confidence to move forward and leave him because she says she love him and she has no friends anymore.one more vary important thing I need to mention my mother is h.i.v. positive.i love my mom and dont want her to die alone.please help me to help her she has a great heart and and a beautiful person I side and out.i just want her to be happy again and dont know where else to turn or what to do for her. thank u so much even if I get no response I appreciate what u do for people and spending the time to give other advice on how to help with seniors to gain life

    • Reply August 19, 2019


      It’s wonderful that you’re supporting your mother and looking for more ways to improve her well-being.

      It’s possible that getting counseling or therapy could help. We’ve got an article with suggestions. A trained counselor or therapist could help with a variety of issues, not just caregiver stress — 3 Sources of Affordable Counseling Services to Reduce Caregiver Stress https://dailycaring.com/low-cost-therapy-options-help-caregivers-cope/

      We’ve also got recommendations on how to support someone with depression — 10 Ways to Help Seniors Deal with Isolation and Depression https://dailycaring.com/10-ways-to-help-seniors-deal-with-isolation-and-depression/

      • Reply October 19, 2019


        I’m a senior myself, I’m not sure if I can help, but I can send positive thoughts your way. We do get caught up in our emotions being women. Start playing games with her, get her hair or nails done. Assure her of her worth and how much she means to you. Try not to bring him up, focus on the beautiful moments you both are creating together. Live in the now :))

        • Reply January 21, 2021


          Thank you Clara. Love, love, love your suggestions darling. I spend a day with my mum and dad (both 80yr olds) unfailing, once a week to alternate with other paid caregivers. Am gonna do the hair thing next week.😍
          Bless your heart Dailycare. You can imagine the support your articles bring to the likes of me😘

          • January 21, 2021


            We’re so glad you found Clara’s and our suggestions helpful!

            Hope getting the hair done is enjoyable for all of you ❤️

  • Reply August 12, 2019


    My mom’s hands are almost completely unusable because of arthritis. She can walk assisted by a rollator only. Are there any simply explained activities for a creative person without use of their hands? If she had not lost her hands, I know she could enjoy life and crafts so much. Lack of doing these things is affecting her mind negatively.

    • Reply August 13, 2019


      It’s great that you’re thinking creatively to help your mom find activities she can still enjoy. Since she isn’t able to use her hands, maybe she would enjoy watching TV shows or documentaries related to the crafts or hobbies that she used to enjoy. Those types of shows can be fascinating and fun as well as a nice way for her to reconnect with that activity. Reading magazines devoted to her hobbies may also be another way to enjoy the activity without actually doing it.

      She may also enjoy listening to books on tape, watching nature cameras, listening to music, and more. Check out our ideas here:
      — Entertain and Engage Seniors with Books on Tape https://dailycaring.com/stimulate-senior-minds-with-books-on-tape/
      — Audio Books for Vision Impaired Seniors: Free Library Service https://dailycaring.com/audio-books-for-vision-impaired-seniors-free-library-service/
      — 9 Entertaining Activities for Low Vision Seniors with Alzheimer’s or Dementia https://dailycaring.com/9-activities-for-low-vision-seniors-with-alzheimers-or-dementia/
      — Entertaining Seniors at Home: Watch Free Live Nature Cameras https://dailycaring.com/entertaining-seniors-at-home-watch-free-live-nature-cameras/

    • Reply September 24, 2019

      Sarah Hicks

      I am a very artsy type of person I don’t feel it would help me if I sat and watched arty programmes on TV. .in fact I’d feel more frustrated knowing I can’t do these things anymore. Sitting with your mom and creating things together would be lovely, you can show her colours and she can choose her designs making necklaces and bracelets. And art, is behind the mind..creations change gradually..monets art became deeper and darker whilst his eye sight faded, Alexander created his best piece in the Vatican after his age affected him Even if a painting is wobberly ..splashed..or bubble art there is amazing ways to still be creative. With love x

  • Reply August 11, 2019

    Mabel Regimbal

    I think your post is condescending and totally unaware of the needs of seniors with mobility problems. Having mobility issues does not necessarily mean being wheel chair bound or that they need to sit and play games all day or reading or watching tv. Thank you for your suggestions but please do a bit more research before writing your next post.

    • Reply August 11, 2019


      We get many requests for these types of low-impact activity ideas from families who are caring for older adults who have very limited mobility, are easily fatigued, or have other types of serious health conditions that severely limit their physical movements. We share these suggestions to help them find different ways to have fun and stay engaged with others.

      Since these activities don’t suit your active older adult, perhaps you’ll find something they’ll like better in our Activities category — https://dailycaring.com/category/daily-care/activities-older-adults/

  • Reply May 28, 2019


    Group conversations and board games also helps in generating a sense of purpose and fulfillment among elderly.

    • Reply August 20, 2020


      Not all shut-ins are elderly, not do they we have anyone to support or engage our emotional needs. I thought I had many friends until I became disabled in my late 30s and found none of them could be relied upon. Neither could my ex- husband who left me in bed for 3 days without for or water and didn’t check on me. I have few surviving close relatives that are young and or healthy enough to be of any use. I never befriended people expecting anything in return but was raised among people who looked out for one another, especially if you had availed yourselves freely of their hospitality, for months on end.

      • Reply August 20, 2020


        We’re so sorry to hear about the way you’ve been treated. It’s very true that many people of all ages could have limited mobility, however our website is dedicated to supporting family caregivers of older adults. So, our topics are focused on seniors and caregivers.

        We hope you can find helpful government and local disability programs and services through the resources listed on this page – https://www.usa.gov/disability-programs

  • Reply October 20, 2018


    Hello Editorial Team,

    Thank you for your very good Adult care tips.

    • Reply October 20, 2018


      You’re very welcome! We’re so glad our articles are helpful 🙂

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