11 Mar 9 Activities for the Disabled and Seniors in Philadelphia Instead of TV
Are you a caregiver looking for ways to help your senior or disabled loved one be active and engaged? Fortunately, there are many ways that elders and the disabled community can get involved with various activities in the Philadelphia community that extend beyond just watching television. Too much television can be harmful to your health, be detrimental to sleep, and dull your brain.
The following are nine activities that seniors, elders, and disabled Philadelphians can get involved with to expand their boundaries while having fun.
Check Out the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Landscapes
Walking is a great way for seniors to get out exploring the local community. It’s both relaxing and helps boost your mood. It can also be a great way to meet new friends or facilitate existing bonds and shared activities. Even if mobility is limited, like getting to a porch, balcony, or next to a window, it is still a great activity to consider and facilitates movement and variety. Be sure to check out area walking groups in and around Philadelphia. Many can be found on Meetup and We Walk PHL is another excellent avenue for free Philadelphia area walking tours. Philly Powered has a calendar of all of the different fitness activities going on around the city as well. This Chosen Family article outlines some exercises that can be done among both elders and those with limited mobility.
Take part in Meetup groups or start your own
Elders and their caregiving loved ones can find all sorts of activities and hobbies that provide opportunities for activities and socialization. A search on meetup.com found over 3000 events in and around the Philadelphia region. Additionally, they make it easy to start your own meetup group to find locals with similar interests in your areas and offer suggestions for groups to start and join.
Enjoy the Senior Center
Senior centers are a great way to meet locals in your community while doing tons of great activities. Senior centers are often low cost or free and usually run by the county. Check out Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s list of senior centers here for those within Philadelphia. Find those of your Delaware Valley county below run by the local Area Agency on Aging (AAA):
Keep tabs on all the events and happenings around Philadelphia
Philadelphia and the surrounding area is filled with activities and events throughout the year. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to find events to satisfy all levels of interests month after month. Uwishunu and Visit Philly are some of the best online resources and sources of information for upcoming events in the area. While the number of events is surprisingly robust all year long, the amount of activities increases as the temperature increases and Philadelphia becomes more outdoor friendly.
Open a book
Participating in new things doesn’t mean you have to leave your home. One of the best ways to dive into a new activity can be done from literally anywhere, including of course right at home. It can engage the brain while improving memory, reduce stress, improve sleep, and delay cognitive decline.
Like reading but want to find ways to make things social and engaging? Consider book clubs. Of course, Meetup is one good source to find book clubs, while the Free Library of Philadelphia is another.
Enjoy movies, shows, or music
Watching too much TV is definitely not a good thing, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be a part of a meaningful and/or engaging activity. By enjoying different entertainment venues like movies and music, elders not only have something to be passionate about and follow, but it can be done for those with limited mobility. Make it social by including family or friends in watch parties or other activities centered around these activities. Finally, there is much power in music. Music can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain. This also has been proven to be powerful for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, providing both emotional and behavioral benefits.
Find accessible hobbies
Seniors can take part in a variety of hobbies that are accessible both physically and economically. Hobbies are a great way to relieve stress while challenging yourself at the same time. A variety of hobbies are great whether you are residing at home, in assisted living, or a nursing home. Some hobbies that are both inexpensive and might not need full mobility to do include:
- Cooking new recipes
- Journaling or blogging
- Other DIY projects
As previously mentioned, you can take things a step further and can often find nearby Meetup or other groups as partners in these activities. Senior centers often host a variety of activities as well.
Be a volunteer
Volunteering is a great way to give back and make a difference. You can also meet new friends, learn new skills, keep you mentally and physically engaged, and feel happier and healthier. Connect with the community and give to others through donating your time. Various positions and schedules are available and you are sure to find something to fit your needs. Check out Volunteer Match for a database of local organizations and needs to be filled. Other ways to give back include being a mentor to others through your own life experiences and knowledge. Local ways to mentor include Philadelphia Futures or national platforms like mentoring.org.
Philadelphia has an endless array of museums to fit many interests and passions. Best of all, local organizations like Art Reach helps make many cultural institutions and theaters available to low income residents and the disabled community for just a $2 entry to each museum. A list of participating sites can be found here.
In summary, watching television doesn’t have to be the only extent of activity that you or your loved one takes part in. There are endless activities that can be done with any level of skill, capability, and even on a budget.