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Top 5 Hobbies for Seniors

Top 5 Hobbies for Seniors

They say, “Youth is wasted on the young.”

But, luckily, old age is never wasted on retirees, who finally have enough wisdom to know that they’ve got to make the best of every moment.

As adults reach their “Golden Years,” they quickly realize that it’s up to them to make the years as memorable as they can. They finally have the time to do the things they’ve always wanted to do and, perhaps, these things that are less about productivity and more about pleasure.

So how does one fill up one’s time when we hit retirement age?

Staying mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally present and engaged is one of the most important things we can do to not only extend our length of life but enhance the quality of our lives.

The most dangerous thing we can do as we age, in fact, is simply “give in” and retreat.

It’s always retirees who are at greatest risk of not only getting bored and fading into an isolated life but, on the opposite end of the spectrum, getting right back up and starting a second (or even a third) career. Retirement is simply not the right mindset.

Instead, it’s better to look at this time as a shift in priorities. Whereas, before, your attention may have been on everything external to you — household, job and familial responsibilities — now, it’s all about making and committing to those inner callings.

To help keep you not only engaged but actually finding something worthwhile that sets your life on fire once more, we’ve picked the best senior hobby ideas that could very well turn into a new purpose for your life.

If any of these five hobbies sparks your interest, it’s finally time to give them a chance.

Caring for a Pet

Animals and seniors, like animals and kids, go hand in hand. There’s a beautiful, uncomplicated love, friendship, and companionship that develops over time in a relationship between a pet, like a cat or a dog, and its owner.

Even as we age, our tendency to care for and nurture another living being doesn’t diminish. If anything, this need increases. We now have even more spare time and attention to focus on things. So why not focus on a furry friend?
As far as hobbies, this is one you’ll want to go all in on. Make sure you make the right decision for the kind of breed you’re considering, based on your living situation and level of physical fitness.

If you’re partial to big dogs, for example, and you have the living space to spare, consider getting a rescue or adopting a senior dog. These are animals that are not as likely to be adopted, and they’ll be eternally happy and grateful to find a loving home.

If you live in an apartment complex in the city, it might be a better idea to get a smaller breed like a Pomeranian, Papillon, or even a Chihuahua. Similarly, make sure to go for breeds that have few health issues — a Pug, for example, while small and cute, has a myriad of health issues so a Frenchie might be a better compromise.

Travel

Traveling for seniors can come with many caveats. It wouldn’t be the best fit for those suffering from dementia, for example.
At the same time, travel is a huge perk of retirement. You now have more time than ever before, and, if you plan it right, the right amount of finances can help you see more of the world.

Even if you’re not planning a world tour or a seven-country cruise, local trips can be a great way to go on an adventure, with the comfort and ease of being closer to home.

Make sure to undertake activities that are aligned with your physical fitness and health. For example, if you know that you have weak knees, but you’d love to hike, consider trekking to a specific point and then continuing a guided tour in a vehicle the rest of the way up a mountain.

Or, if you love traveling out of town, but you have a medical condition that needs you to remain mostly close to home for treatment, consider booking a small tour of a winery or indulge in local theatre or a food festival during the summer months.

Weekend warriors were invented for a reason, after all, and there’s no reason why you can’t “get away” during the weekend, for a new experience.

Working with Your Hands

This is one of the best hobbies for seniors with limited mobility. Choosing to work with your hands can really involve anything — from arts and crafts to hand carving wood, to learning to work with pottery, knitting, quilting, or even gardening and cooking.

Working with one’s hands strengthens hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, which seniors in their later years may have trouble with.

To offset these aging issues, many seniors find joy, meaning, and a real opportunity to master a new skill by trying hobbies that use their hands. It can even be solving a puzzle or working with stained glass art.

Don’t be afraid to try a few different activities and see what sticks. Just make sure to pick a hobby that doesn’t worsen a pre-existing condition. For example, if you have poor vision, don’t engage in something that might further aggravate it.

Join Local Clubs and Associations

There’s a whole new life waiting for you in your senior years — and this is especially true if the hobby you happen to undertake comes with its own social circle.

That’s what you can expect when you join a local club — like a badminton or reading club — or an association — like the “Daughters of the American Revolution” chapters that have sprung up across the country.

Memberships in associations and clubs come with their own social network and opportunities to make new friends, establish new connections, and actually get involved in the community in a meaningful way.

For many seniors, the hobby or activity that the club or association stands for is just an added bonus. The real draw here is the newfound connections that help fill an otherwise uneventful calendar.

Adult Education

The saying goes, “Those who can’t do, teach.”

But, in this case, the saying should go, “Those who age, teach.” There is no better way to give back to your community and share the wisdom gained or mastery earned in a specific field or niche you’ve practiced your whole life in.

Consider teaching a local community class or even a few sessions of a skill that you’ve perfected through your life, passing down your knowledge to a younger generation. This can be something as simple as teaching English, giving private piano lessons, or teaching a cooking class.

Retirement is also an excellent time for seniors to broaden their own learning. Consider taking local classes or non-credit courses at a community college or university. You can experience the joys of further learning anywhere, making adult education one of the best hobbies for seniors to do at home.

The point is not just to survive, but to thrive. With these five hobbies, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another spare moment. Just remember to take it one day at a time and live life to the fullest.