It’s no secret that the retirement years can be a very lonely and depressing period of a person’s life. You may feel unfulfilled or lacking purpose, your body may not work like it used to, and it might seem like there is nothing but time to kill. Due to isolation, many seniors may also get stuck in a rut and could require a little nudge to get moving.
The key here is to rediscover activities and subjects which interest you and then pursue them. In addition to staying engaged, you’ll likely get extra physical and social activity too. Check out the follow 10 hobby suggestions for seniors:
1. Arts and Crafts
Ask your senior friends about any artistic endeavors they enjoyed in their youth and then purchase some decent supplies in hopes of rekindling that old creative flame. Examples may include painting, sculpting, photography, or playing an instrument. These expressive outlets will challenge their imagination, improve the eye-hand coordination, and provide a tangible result at the end. Perhaps you could even make money from it!
2. Looking After a Pet
If you are concerned about any feelings of loneliness or loss of self-worth, then a pet can often balance out these negative emotions with a rejuvenated sense of responsibility as well as some much-needed companionship. Certain pets also come with the added bonus of requiring regular walks, forcing the owner outside whether they want to or not. It’s also worth noting that pets can help those with dementia, so even if someone is unable to look after a pet of their own, it could still be worth organizing an animal day once in a while.
As far as low-impact non-strenuous activities go, nothing beats a good walk outside, where the fresh oxygen fills your lungs and (hopefully) the sun’s rays cheer up the face. Not to mention that the health benefits of a hike are endless! To turn this pursuit into a true hobby, why not purchase a precision grabbing tool to collect shells on the beach or take photos of birds to research at home.
In cases of arthritis or injury, low impact activities are your best option, and that’s where swimming conquers all. Thanks to the weightless environment, anyone can enjoy a full body workout without any joint stress while water-based exercises have been proven to assist the bone health of postmenopausal females.
Adequate nutrition becomes even more imperative as you age, hence why a cooking hobby is a two-fold winner. By purchasing cookbooks or frequenting websites which focus on balanced (yummy!) recipes, the process will be enjoyable while the body will be fueled with all the vitamins it desires.
Gardening is a common go-to health activity for seniors. It’s the perfect excuse to spend some therapeutic time with nature. There is the responsibility element where one needs to care for these plants otherwise they will not survive. And there can be some very tasty rewards when it’s all said and done. For extra points, encourage a tomato plantation, as its ingredient lycopene has been shown to minimize depression in the elderly.
Even though the act of dancing will speed up the heartbeat, you will be having so much fun that the word “exercise” won’t even cross their mind. Better yet, this hobby can be performed anywhere and at any level, whether it’s just the two of you in the living room or an intense class to really push their body.
8. Fitness Classes
With a little bit of research, it shouldn’t take long to find some senior-specific classes nearby. Yoga is always a valuable suggestion, as it touches on mental, physical, spiritual, and social wellbeing. The muscles are stretched, the balance is tested, and the meditative aura will quiet the mind. However, if leaving the house is difficult, perhaps look into some easier balancing exercises that can be pursued at home.
If your senior friends have a knack for telling you stories, encourage them to write these words down. Whether it’s an autobiography for eventual publication or simply a personal diary for themselves, this activity will spark up the brain while keeping their language skills flowing. Not to mention, it’s one of the most inexpensive hobbies out there!
With permission from a doctor, this retirement period could be the ideal time for someone to explore the world. They have no work responsibilities or children to look after, so why not turn this unique opportunity into an adventure? There are many cheap offers for seniors available, and if you do your research about different exchange rates, it may turn out to be a much cheaper trip than you think.