For elderly people, choosing a hobby has never been easier. From orienteering to armchair volleyball, many more pastimes are accessible and can be adapted to suit all ages and abilities. Of course, your choice of recreational activity doesn’t have to be quite so extreme. Simply spending time outside the home stimulates the senses and getting involved with any hobby can add value to your life. Being active, socialising, and learning new skills all serve to improve health and well-being, give a sense of purpose and raise self-esteem.
Rediscover hidden talents
Although older people possess valuable knowledge and skills, there is concern that these are being lost. Many older people were taught to cook and sew but no longer use these skills so joining a class is a great way to build on that knowledge. Skills that have lain dormant can resurface and you might find yourself trying something new or more advanced like making a fondue or having a go at embroidery. Failing eyesight and poor memory can sometimes interfere with learning but with suitable, easy to use equipment and the right materials, it’s still possible to create something worthwhile or at least have fun trying.
Don’t stop moving
Traditional physical activities for older people like ballroom dancing and bowls are still very popular but some groups are taking on fun and modern activities usually associated with younger people. As well as taking a leisurely stroll in the park, they are having a go at skateboarding and even weightlifting, albeit at a modified pace. Any exercise that gets you moving is great for improving mental and physical health, lifting your mood and boosting your immune system.
Stimulate your mind
Keeping your mind active is also just as important. Playing cards is one of the most accessible pastimes as it is cheap and simple to set up and can be played at any level. From a simple round of snap to more complex bridge tournaments, all abilities can get involved. Games like cards stimulate the memory, encourage problem-solving, and quicken reflexes. With half of over 75-year-olds living alone, perhaps the biggest benefit from playing with friends is the feeling of well being that results from simply chatting and laughing together.
Even with such a wide choice of activities and pastimes available for all ages and abilities, it can take a little effort to join a group or take up a new hobby. The benefits of doing so are enormous, from becoming physically fitter to generally feeling more content and fulfilled with your life.
Written by Jane Sandwood