Experts in senior mobility and rehabilitative medicine have found a direct connection between the loss of mobility and a decrease in social interaction and senior group participation.
According to a 2009 study,
1 seniors with limited mobility are more likely to be socially isolated. But, when independent mobility is improved through the use of electric wheelchairs, mobility scooters and other assistive devices, limited-mobility seniors are more willing, and able, to engage in group activities.2
Below, are a few power wheelchair-friendly suggestions to keep seniors with limited mobility independent and actively involved in their community.
Senior Activities, Hobbies and Games
Senior community centers offer many opportunities for social interaction. Newsletters, neighborhood papers and local senior organizations can provide specifics on what's available, where and when.
Some group activities that users of power chairs or battery-operated scooters might consider are:
- photography, gardening and/or bird watching clubs
- arts and crafts, sewing circles
- bingo, canasta, mahjong, chess
- health workshops, exercise classes (e.g., power chair stretching)
Volunteering from an Electric Wheelchair
As well as helping to counter loneliness and social isolation...volunteer activities
[and] being involved in a community group, gets people out and about, meeting others,
and receiving functional and psychological support. --- Volunteer Work and Well-Being 3
For several reasons, volunteering while in a power wheelchair can be a beneficial option for the person who wants to remain actively involved in their community. And, it doesn't matter if a volunteer happens to be young or old. What matters is their willingness to share meaningful time relating to and being with others.
Local places where seniors with limited mobility might volunteer include:
- places of worship
- hospitals, schools, libraries
- neighborhood community centers
To find nearby volunteer opportunities for older, limited mobility-adults, consult the following resources:
Senior Corps Pathfinder Tool
Contact Hoveround at 1-800-542-7236 to not only learn more about one of the most maneuverable power wheelchairs available, but also about our mobility-enhancing scooters for active seniors and our full-line of essential wheelchair accessories. We'll help you to get the mobility equipment you want and need to resume a more active, functional and independent lifestyle.
1Salminen AL, Brandt A, Samuelsson K, Toytari O, Malmivaara A. Mobility Devices to Promote Activity and Participation: A Systematic Review. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 2009; 41(9): 697-706
2A power wheelchair's primary use is for essential, indoor mobility assistance. Some outdoor use may be necessary. However, for Medicare reimbursement, outdoor use cannot be the main purpose of the power chair. For details, visit the Center for Medicare & Medicare Services.
3Thoits, P., and Hewitt, L. (2001), Volunteer Work and Well-Being, Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, 42 (2), pages 115-31.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical and/or regulatory advice. All information is general in nature and may not necessarily apply to every person and every situation.