When older adults retire, they often underestimate just how much mental and social stimulation they received from the work environment. It’s a void many retirees don’t anticipate leaving them wondering why they’re struggling with depression and boredom. The good news is that hobbies and physical activity can keep your mind engaged and boost mental health during your golden years. Hobbies not only give you something to do, but they also provide a sense of accomplishment, can help reduce stress and boost confidence. This article will share will you a few engaging hobbies for seniors.
Unique Hobbies for Seniors
It doesn’t take much more than a pair of binoculars and a bird identification book to get started in birdwatching. Many communities have birdwatching clubs and outings which can be great ways to connect with other bird lovers and learn the ropes of successful birdwatching. To extend the enjoyment, consider keeping a journal to write down your experiences and keep track of the birds you’ve spotted over the course of the year.
We’re fortunate to live in a time when so much information about our ancestors is available online. As a result, genealogy has become a trending hobby across all generations, especially seniors. Even if you have limited mobility, a good deal of the facts you want can be found at the click of a mouse. Definitely look into joining one of the popular ancestry sites – you can generally begin with a free trial to see which one best fits your search goals. Building your family tree and filling in the blanks with stories and photos is a wonderful legacy to pass on to your family.
While gazing at the heavens isn’t one of the most unusual hobbies for seniors, taking it to the next level by investing in a telescope, and even taking a few online courses on the subject, puts you into a new class of more serious enthusiasts. Check to see if your local universities or science museums have planetariums where you can learn more about the night sky, then get out there and explore. Astronomy a good way to meet likeminded hobbyists, and it gives you a great reason to spend time outdoors.
Gardening is an engaging hobby for seniors because access to nature can actually help us recover from illness quicker, reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Gardening is a low-impact activity that fosters physical movement, social interaction and a sense of accomplishment. And since people of all ages can garden, it provides an opportunity for intergenerational teaching, sharing and friendship. But not all gardening has to happen outdoors. Indoor or container gardening provides those with limited mobility an opportunity to interact with nature even when venturing outside isn’t an option.
Playing an instrument
One of the more unusual hobbies for seniors is playing an instrument. Believe it or not, a growing number of studies indicate that music lessons in childhood can provide an added defense against memory loss and cognitive decline. You may experience those benefits even if you haven’t played an instrument for years. But the most exciting news is that it’s not too late to gain benefits even if you don’t start playing until later in life. Jennifer Bugos, an assistant professor of music education at the University of South Florida, Tampa, studied how individual piano instruction with adults ages 60 to 85 affected their cognitive abilities. After six months, those who had taken piano lessons showed gains in memory, verbal fluency, how fast they processed information, planning and other cognitive functions, compared to those who had not taken lessons. “People often shy away from learning to play a musical instrument at a later age, but it’s definitely possible to learn and play well into late adulthood,” Bugos says.
Getting in touch with their creative side is another engaging hobby for seniors. Drawing, coloring, painting, cooking, knitting and sculpture are all excellent creative outlets. Projects might include creating scrapbooks, organizing family photo albums or making a family recipe book. Research has found that creative activities can help people who are battling chronic illness to reduce negative emotions, stress, anxiety, and improve medical outcomes.
We Have What You’re Looking For
If you’ve been considering a move to an independent living community, check out everything Grand Lodge at the Preserve has to offer. Our activity calendar is full of projects and opportunities to engage your mind and body to help you stay healthy mentally and physically. You can learn more by filling out the brief contact form below. A sales counselor will be in touch soon to discuss your plans and help you navigate this important decision.