Just because your body ages, doesn’t mean your mind has to. There’s plenty of hobbies and activities that the older generations can still enjoy keeping themselves active and engaged with life, so if you or a loved one is struggling to occupy their spare time, then we’ve got a range of suggestions to inspire you!
One of the classics, gardening has been a favourite activity of retirees for centuries. It’s inexpensive, simple, keeps you active, and can be done from the comfort of your own back garden. Additionally, it can easily be scaled to big or small — whether it’s half a dozen flower pots in the conservatory or a horticultural masterpiece that would give Gardener’s World a run for its money, you can always fit a garden to your own preferences and available space.
And don’t worry if you don’t know anything about weeding, pruning, drainage or compost — there are plenty of resources out there for the inexperienced yet eager new gardener to gain knowledge from. Most good newsagents will carry multiple gardening magazines, or you can simply find more specific information online.
It’s a sad fact of life that many seniors find themselves living alone in the later years of their life. However, there’s a solution that many people never think of — acquiring a pet companion. There are many options to suit all sorts of lifestyles: cats typically look after themselves (apart from feeding) if their owner is housebound, while dogs can keep pace with more energetic owners and get them out of the house regularly for long walks through the countryside. It doesn’t always have to be a puppy or kitten, either; plenty of older dogs can be found at any shelter waiting for a good, quiet home.
Depending on where you live, pets can also be a great way to meet other people while out for walks and exercise. You can even arrange to go to dog parks, pet shows, and more! But best of all, a pet is always there for you no matter what.
Perhaps it’s a little clichéd, but golfing is the ideal social activity for pensioners who want to spend some time relaxing outside. It’s excellent exercise, improves hand-eye coordination, and is something that can be enjoyed throughout your entire life. Check out the nearest golf course to you (even mini golf, if that’s more your speed) and have a go – don’t knock it until you try it!
An often overlooked one, volunteering locally is an excellent way to engage with others regularly and keep your mind stimulated. It can be anywhere — at a local business, helping to run events at nearby venues, or working with charities in your area. Such activities are typically free, give the volunteer an improved sense of self-worth, and allow them to stay engaged with their local community in a way that benefits everyone involved.
If your body is struggling to keep up with the rigors of your daily routines, it might be a good idea to try yoga. Unlike most other exercise regimes, yoga helps your body to stretch and tone muscles, lose weight, and improve circulation, without requiring a ton of energy as with activities such as jogging or swimming. Most communities have regular yoga classes, so you can easily get started alongside others in a relaxed environment. Yoga can also be performed in the comfort of your own home if you just want to loosen up a little each morning without having to leave the house.
Arts & Crafts
Unleash your creative side by taking up art! Anyone can draw and paint well with enough practice, but don’t let the fear of creating bad artwork discourage you; it’s entirely subjective and if it makes you happy, it has succeeded in its purpose. You can choose a medium that best suits your desires, from pencil on paper and paint on canvas all the way up to pottery, woodcarving, and embroidery. Or, if you’re feeling tech-savvy, you can purchase a stylus and try out the fantastic painting apps available on an iPad or smartphone — take your art with you wherever you want!
So, hopefully we’ve given everyone some great ideas on how to get more seniors into new hobbies and activities. This list is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to have a look at what other suitable activities are on offer near you; you might be pleasantly surprised. And above all else, make sure you enjoy yourself — that’s the most important thing!