When it comes to our senior residents, we’ve put a lot of time into finding the best hobbies for them to enjoy in their free time. Part of this is making sure they are both engaging enough to keep our residents’ minds active and enjoyable enough to become an important part of their daily lives.

Through our research, we’ve identified several activities that we think are particularly good for seniors. Additionally, in this article, we will be sharing some of them and explaining their unique benefits. So, what are good hobbies for seniors?

How to pick the perfect hobby for seniors

The first area to consider when deciding on a hobby is the physical aspect of it. Due to their advanced age, some seniors are unable to participate in certain activities that require large amounts of motion (such as most sports).

However, this does not mean that all physically active hobbies should be discounted. Subsequently, there are a variety of physical games and activities that can be enjoyed by those with limited motor skills and ranges of movement.

Examples of these hobbies include bowls, golf, yoga, and even swimming. Bowls are one of the most popular hobbies among older adults. This is because it allows the player to hone their hand-eye coordination. It also provides an opportunity for social interaction between team members.

These low-impact sports have the potential to play a key role in helping to keep seniors physically active. They also give seniors health benefits, such as helping to delay the onset of physical maladies such as arthritis.

In addition, studies have shown that physical exercise on a regular basis can reduce stress. Studies also show exercise has a positive effect on mental health in people of all ages. For these reasons, we’re keen to try and offer as many physical hobbies as possible to our residents so they can choose which hobby they wish to take up.

How else do we decide what are good hobbies for seniors?

Another key concern when selecting an interest is the cerebral intensity. Those in their senior stage of life sometimes have complex needs in relation to their mental capacity. Additionally, it is essential that the activities offered to them are tailored to their individual needs.

To this end, we believe that bird watching is one of the most enriching and rewarding hobbies for seniors. It benefits from being accessible, as unlike sport there is no need to ‘learn to play’.

Moreover, bird watching is a popular hobby as it can be done from almost anywhere. Plus, it doesn’t require the watcher to set aside large amounts of free time to participate.

Furthermore, in areas where birdwatching is more difficult, one of the more popular mental-based hobbies is puzzle-solving. To help keep their minds sharp we provide our seniors with an array of puzzles including sudoku, crosswords and word searches.

These hobbies are ideal for the more introverted individual. Furthermore, scientific research has discovered that regular problem-solving is effective at lowering the chances of developing neurodegenerative conditions. Even in those with a family history of such ailments.

Other ideas for good senior hobbies

Of course, there is more to life than sports or puzzles. We acknowledge that one of the most significant needs we all experience is the need to express ourselves and be creative.

Therefore, we identified that in addition to the physically and mentally stimulating hobbies we offer it is also important to offer a range of artistic activities as well. It is often overlooked that older adults still require the same level of creative and emotional release as people of any age. So, any form of artistic hobby is an effective tool in delivering this.

In the same way as with physical activities, those who are in a later stage of life occasionally have difficulty with their motor skills. Subsequently, they can struggle with self-expression. Artistic hobbies such as writing, painting, and scrapbooking can provide a vital emotional outlet. This can be done whilst also fostering a sense of accomplishment and creativity.

List of top hobbies that are good for seniors

We’ve compiled a list of some of our top picks for activities, interests, and hobbies we feel are most suited to older people. It is also important to note that this is by no means an exhaustive list and we are constantly endeavouring to add to it with new hobby ideas.

PHYSICAL

  • Swimming
  • Bowls
  • Table Tennis
  • Yoga
  • Walking
  • Golf
  • Darts
  • Dance
  • Tennis
  • Squash

MENTAL

  • Sudoku
  • Crosswords
  • Wordsearch
  • Trivia Games/Quizzes
  • ‘Brain-training’ programmes
  • Bingo
  • Jigsaws
  • Board Games (Scrabble, Monopoly etc.)
  • Reading
  • Card Games

ARTISTIC/CREATIVE

  • Painting
  • Writing
  • Scrapbooking
  • Birdwatching
  • Knitting/Crochet
  • Drawing
  • Playing or learning to play musical instruments
  • Sculpting/arts-and-crafts
  • Journaling
  • Singing
  • Acting/Performance

How do we support these hobbies?

When starting a new hobby, one of the most crucial steps is having the support to help continue it. This support provides the foundation for the development of skills and the enjoyment of the activity. Support for a hobby can come in an array of forms which all play an equal part in the maintenance and success of a budding hobby. Some of these include:

  • FINANCIAL – Financial support covers the acquisition or hiring of equipment and materials, the acquisition of a venue or space and the funding of specialist instructors that can help facilitate the hobby. In tandem with this, financial backing also enables the care team to provide a larger choice of activities.
  • PASTORAL – The care team’s support towards the hobby and the hobbyist cannot be overstated. This includes adapting and moulding the nature of the activity to make it accessible and available to the person in question and supporting the individual on their hobby journey.
  • EMOTIONAL – Taking an individual approach to each senior resident and identifying whether their new hobby is right for them constitutes the emotional aspect of support. In addition, emotional support can be utilised to aid the hobbyist in overcoming issues such as creative block and can therefore encourage perseverance.

What are good hobbies for seniors?

Unfortunately, there exists an antiquated and depressing view of life in a large amount of senior living facilities across the UK. The scene is one of a semi-circle of beige chairs that face a television. Our hope is that this article paints a different picture of senior living, a picture in which there are ample avenues of activity and expression for all the residents of a care facility.

Following on from this, we hope that this article could give inspiration to those who live with or care for a senior relative regarding hobbies that they could enjoy together.

Hobbies are best experienced as part of a group or association of people, all sharing the same events and feelings.

We believe many of the hobbies described in this article are of interest to people of all ages and are ideal for taking up with the one you love. Whether it helps them stay active by walking, watercolour painting or word searches, everyone deserves access to their own hobby and at Great Park Homecare we’re proud to lead the charge in providing all our seniors with a good hobby.

Please call us on 01753 369088 for an initial no-obligation chat about how we can support you or your loved one to lead an active and independent life.