Hobbies - suggestions

I have noticed that my memory ( once very good) has become dodgy. I wish to stave off dementia, which I fear more than MS.

The standard advice is:

(a) Exercise: this difficult as I am wheelchair bound and unable to do much physically.

(b) Social interaction: Opportunities are limited for someone who can’t get around much.

(c) Mental stimulation. suggestions for new hobbies please! I tried to learn the ukulele but my fingers are not strong/fast enough.

Some of the sitting exercises might be possible and anything you can manage is a lot better than nothing. Build your own exercise routine | MS Trust

Hi Tabsky Sorry to hear things are difficult. Would you fancy sewing, with a machine I mean? I do patchwork and find it really absorbing. Or knitting if your fingers can - I’m not much of a knitter but am trying to learn! There is really good site called Future learn which provide free online courses of all sorts of things - you could have a nosey and see if its up your street… Good luck finding something that works for you Julie

Doing the crossword and watching University Challenge is about as mentally stimulated as I get.

I still read a lot, but pretty much fail to remember the plot of a book a week or so after I’ve finished it. Which ultimately makes it cheaper to read as after a couple of years I can just read them again.

And of course, this forum has become a sort of hobby. Sharing knowledge and experience, especially with the newly diagnosed is I think a useful thing to do and it has the additional benefit of keeping my brain working. And being silly on the Brain Fog thread also helps.


Oh and I just thought, if your fingers are iffy and page turning of books is difficult, you can always try an e-reader. I swore I’d never get one, until I tried a friends out and just like that I was converted. It’s nearly 6 years now since I read a physical book, with pages and all that!

You can also do crosswords and things on line, my handwriting is pretty much illegible, I try and do the crossword on paper, but when I can’t, I do it on line.

My life has become totally electronic. I have a diary app which I keep fairly regularly, I can write letters and keep records on a tablet, I can play games even. All of these things are possible on a tablet rather than a computer, because my fingers don’t work well enough. I just type with my thumbs.


I started online drawing and painting classes.


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water colour is a very forgiving medium.

just have a go and don’t finish too soon.

it will look better with bits missing rather than overworked.

i haven’t had my paints out for months and i really must start again.

carole x

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I have a lot of digital photos so I spend a bit of time editing and occasionally creating photo memory books for people. Not as creative as some but technically and artistically challenging and nice to end up with a tangible result.

I struggle with paper books and concentration so was delighted to find Listening Books ( a charity who supply audio books for people with disabilities at £20 a year)



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Hi Carole, have you tried classical drawing using a mix of charcoal, Conte crayon sticks and white chalk?

I’m copying famous drawings from a book at the moment.

“Drawing Atelier: The Figure - how to draw in the classical style”

I have my drawing board over my arm chair. A nice winter activity.


I tried listening books. But for some reason they always sent me to sleep. So I couldn’t follow the story. It was even worse than printed books. Which is hard enough.


Learning to play a musical instrument is highly recommended for mental stimulation. If your fingers aren’t strong enough or fast enough for that, learning a foreign language is another option. I have a number of Rosetta Stone course on CD, or you can download them. There are language apps if you have a tablet, but I haven’t found one that compared well to Rosetta Stone.

Learning some kind of craft is also a good idea. The choice of craft will depend on where your interests lie and on your manual dexterity and strength, and also on your eyesight. I like to knit “continental style” - your hands move less with this method and there’s reduced risk of developing RSI. I used to embroider, but my eyesight and manual dexterity aren’t what they were. Painting and drawing sound good, too. I’ve always wanted to be able to do both, but I’ve never got round to it.

Word puzzles of any kind are good for keeping you mentally active, as is sudoku. I always enjoyed logic puzzles. I have a lot of jigsaw puzzles that I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. Maybe this Christmas, if I’m not knitting.

One final suggestion: writing. You could try poetry, if that’s what you like, or short stories, or something for children. It doesn’t have to be great literature, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t finish the story. Just use your imagination, give your brain a different kind of exercise.


As regards eercise there are usually seated exercise classes around - have a google or enquire of social services. I know there is seated tai chi and there was seated yoga once at MS Life.

Mental stimulation: crosswords, puzzles all work the brain. Depends what you are into. Some kind of craft activity. See what the local MS Society has going. Also try Meet up groups - also can help with the social.

Many thanks for all your suggestions.

One thing I shall certainly do, is keep using this forum!


I’d like to re-iterate JW and say Futurelearn is great! I recently did an online course with them about Employing a PA. Very good and lots to think about. Certainly worth taking a look at.