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Picking up Useful New Hobbies for Senior Citizens

September 15, 2021

Picking up Useful New Hobbies for Senior Citizens

When many seniors who live at home; first retire from working, they experience something they never thought they would: boredom. They spent years juggling work, a family, and taking care of a household. From driving the kids to soccer practice to taking care of the household bills and everything in between. But now the kids have moved out and are on their own. You don’t have a 40 hour per week job anymore. Not to mention, the time you save commuting back and forth. So what to do with all that time? You know you want to stay physically active, keep in touch with friends and family, and you know that seniors live on retirement income, you don’t want to do something that costs a lot of money. In other words, you need a hobby.

Finding the Right Active Hobby for Seniors

One thing that many seniors fail to consider is that being physically active is more important for ever than them after they retire. Many retired people have the image of an elderly person in a rocking chair whiling away the hours on the front porch. It can be tempting to think that way, especially after a long career of working hard every day. And to be sue, you’ll want to do some of that! Rest is important, and a rocking chair on the front porch at least lets you get some fresh air.  But for the sake of your health, finding useful new hobbies for senior citizens that lets you stay active is important. Why is it important to stay active? Here are a few reasons:

Keep your heart healthier

As you get older, your risk of heart disease increases greatly. Seniors who stay active reduce the risk considerably of having heart issues later in life. Any activity that gets you moving and gets your heart rate up, even for 20 minutes a day a few times a week, can help.

Exercise can help you keep your weight down

One of the obvious health benefits of being active is that you can help manage your weight. Many people who worked at physically demanding jobs during their careers fail to realize that they need to keep up a level of physical activity to avoid gaining weight when they retire.

Reduce your blood pressure

You may think that because you’re retired you won’t have any more stress, but that’s actually not the case for most seniors. So it’s important to stay active in order to reduce stress and keep your blood pressure under control.

Benefits to your mental health

Beyond the social interaction that can come with a group activity like yoga or another exercise class. Staying physically active can reduce the risk of social isolation. The more we learn about the connection between physical and mental health, the more experts recommend staying active can be beneficial to both.

But what type of active hobby is right for you? The good news is, there are many ways to try new things without making a big commitment. Many senior centers have short term classes or activities that you can drop in on, such as yoga, water aerobics or pick-up basketball games. But beyond group activities, consider things you can do on your own, like biking or going for long walks outside. Even maintaining a garden can be physically demanding enough to deliver health benefits. The bottom line is, the best active hobby for any senior is the one they’ll stick with regularly and continue to enjoy. After all, you don’t want a hobby to feel like work when you’re retired. So try a few different new hobbies for senior citizens on for size, and figure out what works best for you.

Less Active New Hobbies for Senior Citizens 

Let’s be realistic here for a moment. You’re probably not going to become a marathon runner and spend all day training after you retire. So even if you are getting plenty of exercise, you’re probably going to want to do something else as well. The good news is, there are plenty of other things seniors can do to stay busy that aren’t quite as physically demanding. We’ve gathered a few suggestions for you here that many seniors enjoy:

Jigsaw Puzzles

Putting together large jigsaw puzzles has unexpectedly become a popular hobby again, especially in the era of COVID-19 restrictions and quarantine. And the makers of puzzles are keeping up with demand by making puzzles of many different sizes and difficulty levels.

Why it’s a good hobby for seniors: It takes a little bit of hand eye coordination and can help you keep up your fine motor skills, while keeping your brain engaged. But it’s also something you can do for 10 minutes at a time or two hours at a time, depending on how you feel. You’ve probably got an old card table you can set up in an out of the way corner.

Does it cost a lot? It’s not an expensive thing, many good sized puzzles can be had for less than $10, and once you’re done with a puzzle, you can trade them with others.

Knitting and Sewing

Whether it’s knitting a sweater; sewing a piece of clothing or just casually doing needle point, this is a popular hobby for many reasons.

Why it’s a good hobby for seniors. The concentration it takes keeps you mentally sharp, and staying busy with your hands can help fend off arthritis. Plus, you can give the fruits of your labor away as gifts or use them yourself. Even if you haven’t touched a ball of yarn since arts and crafts class at summer camp, you can get started in no time.

Does it cost a lot? It depends. Obviously, going out and buying a top of the line sewing machine is going to be pricey, and buying yarn can be somewhat expensive for avid knitters. But there are free patterns available all over the internet, and as mentioned above, you can save money on gifts by giving your creations away to others.

Family Tree

Many seniors want to learn more about their family history. Some families keep detailed notes about family trees, but for many others, it can be a mystery. Well, who doesn’t like to solve a good mystery? You may find unexpected results, such as a scandalous (for the time) divorce, an unknown cousin, or a family tree that leads to an unexpected place of origin.

Why it’s a good hobby for seniors. You can participate as much or as little as you want. Maybe you aren’t interested in going back more than a few generations. Or maybe you want to find out that your 7th cousin twice removed was famous.

Does it cost a lot? Not usually. Of course, you can subscribe to an expensive service like Ancestry, but that’s certainly not necessary. There are a ton of free resources, from your local library, from local governments, and even from the Library of Congress.

Start a Book Club

Now that you finally have time to read. You want to talk about what you’re reading with your friends and family. Having something regularly scheduled is good for seniors, because it gives them a kind of anchor to schedule other things around. Scheduling a book club is also a great way to ensure you see others regularly. And honestly, you don’t have to impress anyone by selecting dense intellectual books or books with heavy themes. You can have just as much of a good conversation about a Nora Roberts or John le Carre book as you can a volume of Proust. And if you find that talking about books isn’t your group’s thing, there are other reasons to gather. You can discuss a movie instead of a book, play cards or board games, or have regular wine tastings instead.

Why it’s a good hobby for seniors. Obviously, reading is an important way of staying mentally sharp and reducing stress. But the social interaction of a book club makes it a no-brainer for a great hobby for seniors.

Does it cost a lot? It certainly doesn’t have to. If you pick titles that aren’t new releases, you can certainly borrow them from the library or buy them from a used book store. As for hosting the discussions, rotate hosts and have everyone bring a snack or a beverage.

Obviously, these are just a few suggestions for new hobbies that senior citizens can take up to stay active. Ask around at your local senior center, library, or call your local department on aging to see what other programs or classes there are in your area. As with the physical activities above, many senior centers and libraries have drop-in or short term programs. That don’t require a lot of commitment, so you can shop around a bit for your new favorite hobby.

Getting Help Around the House to Support Your Hobbies

That’s a lot of new hobbies for senior citizens! You may find that, until you settle into the things you really like, you’ll be just as busy retired as you were when you were working. And that means you might need a little help around the home. After all, you are getting older, and can’t do everything. But rather than sacrifice the things you enjoy, why not get some help with things like housekeeping, laundry, and meal preparation. Having an at-home care aide can help with these things while you continue to enjoy your retired and active lifestyle. That way, if you need to slow down in later years, you’ll feel as though you’ve gotten the most out of your retirement.

Home Care Powered by AUAF is Here to Help You Live Your Best Life

Whether you’re newly retired and trying to get a handle on your new lifestyle. Or if you’ve stopped working years ago but aren’t ready for the rocking chair. The dedicated caregivers and staff at Home Care Powered by AUAF want you to know; that they can help you stay active and healthy. Our in-home caregivers will support your active lifestyle by helping you with the everyday activities. Many elderly people struggle with. Call us at (773) 274-9262 or contact us to find out more.

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