With the tight economy, and the many hours that we often need to work to make ends meet, more and more people these days end up having a parent move in with them to help out with babysitting, or because funds are limited and aged-care facilities expensive.
If you have your mother or father living with you, or one of your partner’s parents, chances are that you sometimes worry if the senior in your home is active and entertained enough, particularly if they have health issues or if they have recently retired and suddenly have a lot more free time.
Happily though, there are plenty of great activities which our elders can take part in which don’t break the bank or require huge amounts of time or forward planning. Read on for some top activities for seniors to try out today.
Take Up New Hobbies and Join Groups
A fantastic thing for seniors to do when they need more fun and engaging things to do in their day is take up new hobbies and join some groups. The topic this relates to will obviously vary hugely from person to person, but can include both sole activities done from home and those which are done in a group. Learning something new, or developing current skills, is a great way to keep both the mind and body more active.
As an example, taking up a new physical activity can be a really great hobby, and lead to joining a group and meeting new people. For example, seniors might like to:
- Join a gym
- Take up yoga, Pilates, tai chi, or martial arts
- Join a sporting club for activities like golf, hiking, tennis, bowling, and cycling
There are also plenty of artistic pursuits that seniors can learn or develop skills in. Again, these can either be done individually or as part of a group, and can also include attending workshops or participating in online study.
Consider options such as:
- Drawing, painting, pottery, and sculpture
- Scrapbooking and decoupage
- Jewelry making
- Musical composition or practice, or attendance at musical events
- Knitting, sewing, quilting, and cross-stitch
Seniors might also like to join a museum program for regular tours and events, or become a guide within such a facility if they already have plenty of knowledge in the area.
Another activity that seniors could consider taking up (and potentially enjoy with their family members too) is coin collecting. Seniors will enjoy learning about different coins and their values. They can also search for special coins such as the 1889 silver dollar, and share or trade coins with other collectors can keep seniors both engaged and social.
Taking a visit to a mint or museum in their local area or further afield can provide seniors with fun outings to boot. There are also many coin-collecting groups (both online and in person) that can be joined for additional support and interactions.
Other hobbies that seniors might like to think about taking up or developing include cooking, gardening, bird watching, conservation efforts, historical research and re-enactments, acting, astronomy, antiquing, learning a new language, and rock collecting, to name a few.
Many seniors find that they struggle with adapting to retirement life because the sense of purpose they had when working is no longer there. To counteract that, and to provide a sense of community, a feeling of fulfilment, and a chance to meet new people, it pays to start volunteering at a local not-for-profit organization.
With so many institutions always looking for volunteers, it shouldn’t be difficult for seniors to find somewhere they can help out. It pays, though, for them to think about their particular interests and availability and align with that. For example, some people love to assist charities that work with animals (such as rescue shelters), while others may have a preference for helping out at soup kitchens, homeless shelters, charity shops, orphanages, clinics or other places.
As well, some seniors might like to volunteer in a way that has them being active physically, or that gets them interacting directly with members of the public, while others might prefer to help out from home by doing paperwork or computer-related tasks. It is important for each person to volunteer in a way that suits them.
Enjoying some travel is another great way for seniors to spend their time. While this can, of course, include long trips overseas to explore places that have always been on the bucket list, it can also refer to simple day trips in the local region or hour-long outings in one’s own area. Many tour operators run seniors day tours to nearby locations for sightseeing and events. As well, a lot of churches also organize group trips for senior members.