Tag: activities for seniors
activities for seniors
Finding a hobby (a new one?) just right for you can give you a lifetime of enjoyment, far into your retirement years. The main thing to consider is what do you really like? Not what your family tree or best friend thinks you should like – It is for you!
Do you think you’re not very good at anything? If that sounds like you, here are questions to ask yourself about what you’ve really wanted to do.
If you’re still working, now is the time to develop a hobby and to plan for future senior activities.
It’s also a great idea to have several different hobbies, because things change as we age. That sure happened to Dad. And he didn’t have much to fall back on.
Working with our hands at any age is particularly valuable. It promotes brain and physical coordination. P.S. – If you’re looking particularly for easy craft ideas be sure to visit our specialized page.
Dad’s Issue – When my father became very elderly and moved in with me, I became his full-time caregiver. His main hobbies had been golf and reading. But because of his vision and hearing loss, he had to give those up and there wasn’t much he could do. Or, that is, was willing to do.
It taught me the importance of cultivating a variety of hobbies and interests including working with one’s hands, because you just never know.
First Ask Yourself:
To get started with finding a hobby, first take some notes and let yourself brainstorm. And keep in mind that some may be good extra income ideas and actually provide ways to do a little work after retirement if you’re interested in that.
- Make a list of the top 5 hobbies or activities you like to do now.
- Now make a list of the top 5 new activities you would like to learn. This is brainstorming — don’t limit yourself, financially or otherwise.
Idea List – for Finding a Hobby
Finding a hobby can be a really fun exercise and will give you ideas on how you can expand the list.
- photography – including nature, weddings, babies, children
- home renovation
- do-it-yourself activities such as a tile backsplash, creative cement work, etc.
- interior decorating
- build and decorate a dollhouse – perhaps elaborate
- furniture making
- painting on furniture
- furniture restoration
- going to or participating in flea markets
- metal detecting – you can find amazing treasures!
- making trash to treasure projects
- starting a collection – perhaps heirloom quality
- studying antiques and antiquing
- join a theater group and be in a play
- or work with costumes and props
- learn a new sport – biking, tennis, golf, swimming
- take up chess; join a group
- painting – on canvas; or paint on glass or wood
- candle making
- hand-painted ceramic sinks
- hand-painted ceramic tiles
- pottery and ceramics
- mosaics (including tables, chairs, trays)
- making crafts – there are many crafts for seniors to explore
- scale modeling (see link at the bottom of this page)
- small appliance or mechanical repair
- rug making (easy rug hooking, braided rugs, etc.)
- learning or enhancing computer skills
- making a web site regarding your hobby or interest (you can make money too – really)
- needlework such as cross-stitching or embroidery
- knitting or crocheting
- quilting – start small like a pillow or wallhanging
- be a volunteer or professional clown
- making puppets and puppeteering
- clock and watch repair
- crossword puzzles
- jewelry making
- stained glass
- specialized cooking
- cake decorating
- gardening – perhaps a specialty such as roses or exotic plants
- flower pressing
- decorative pillows
- journalism – articles for newspapers, magazines, organizations
- creative writing – perhaps memoirs or a novel
- write and/or illustrate a children’s book
- record your memoirs (and help others) and transfer to a CD
- making videos and movies
- dancing – salsa, tap, ballroom, jazz, square dancing, contemporary; don’t limit yourself
- playing musical instruments – (our guest writer talks about a super easy way of playing chimes, without having to read music or practice. Perfect for kids and families too).
- floral arrangement
- bird watching
- card games
- crafts – there are tons of easy craft ideas and crafts for seniors
- make or study wines
- beer making
- getting a pet
- public speaking
- wedding officient
- learn another language – and take a trip!
- sailing and boating
When finding a hobby, remember, there may be a craft store, home improvement store, community resources or a senior center that can teach many of these activities. And don’t forget the library – most of them have or can get videos and books on a favorite topic. Or do you have a friend or family member who can teach you? Groups are always fun.
Do you have limitations?
If you have physical or other challenges and are unable to do your activity of choice now, finding a hobby can be modified. (For instance, did you know there are special easy-to-grip garden tools, and even wheelchair accessible elevated gardens for the elderly, window gardens, and more).
See our page about elderly activities to get ideas for those with limitations that we experience as we age. Also consider reading books, watching movies or TV programs, attending seminars or conferences on the subject, or helping others.
Find out what other related senior activity ideas and groups are available. There are also many special crafts for elderly to consider – ask a local senior center or even a church group.
After finding a hobby (or two) dedicate a room or area in your home to your special activities. Make a list of the supplies you will need, and find out how to get discounts.
A special note:
If you are a writer, visit your library or bookstore and look at the current “Writer’s Market.” This is an excellent yearly publication that tells what book and magazine publishers are looking for in that year. There are hundreds of listings. As you may guess, topics for baby boomers and elders are popular at this time.
You can also very easily self-publish a book by using Amazon’s system for Kindle books. With a for-print book check www.createspace.com — it’s very inexpensive because it’s print on demand. If you want to try electronic publishing, Amazon will also help your put your book into Kindle reader format.
If you are an artist, there is a similar book called “The Artist’s and Graphic Designer’s Market.” It lists hundreds of publishing and licensing companies to submit your artwork to, and what they are looking for. Even tips to go through the process. You can also pursue finding a licensing agent to represent your work to manufacturers, like I have.
And don’t forget to give back, if you can – teach someone what you know. Pass it on to family members, youth, and the elderly.
Do you like crafts?
Finding a hobby with crafts couldn’t be easier. We also do have lots of crafts in many places on our web site, but why hunt all over? Our crafts are all consolidated and organized, along with dozens of NEW never-seen-before projects in our e-book! You get over 120 projects, with plenty of tips on different ways to make them! PLUS a FREE book of pattern templates! Click here for a sneak peak.
And check out this great hobby web site! An online guidebook to all forms of modeling from ships to planes and from trains to race cars. It’s your ultimate guide to the best in scale modeling.
Looking for great retirement ideas and activities?
(We have retirement activities for everyone – even if you really don’t retire!)
There are all kinds of possibilities and things to do out there. Here are a few fun ideas for any budget, with links pointing to even more options, below.
When Dad came to live with me he’d been retired already for a long time. He had serious hearing and vision loss and could not participate in much without help. That really started me searching for new retirement ideas not only for him… but it also gave me pause to consider myself. And many of my friends had started retiring too.
What would I want to do when I retired. Perhaps because I stayed at home as his full-time caregiver, in a way I had already “retired” — from the workforce, anyway. I did work from home and still wanted to work after retirement, so found many different ways to do that.
Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way…
Choose senior activity ideas that keep you busy, the mind active, are of service even in small ways, or provide ongoing learning.
Don’t Get Stuck – Be willing to try something new!
(Dad certainly had to do this as his hearing and vision went). Or have a special goal to strive for too. There’s nothing like a goal, even a small one, to trigger the imagination.
The type of retirement ideas you choose may depend on factors such as interests, physical health, mobility, mental health, budget. But no matter what the circumstances, there are plenty of retirement activities to choose from.
Outdoor Retirement Ideas
Turn off the TV and get outside! You may say, “I’m just not that outdoorsy.” Not an excuse! Get out and get some fresh air! It’s easy to simply take a favorite activity or club meeting outside — make a special area in your yard or patio. And ask yourself some questions about retirement ideas vs. outdoor living.
- What climate do you live in now?
- Are you able to participate in the usual outdoor activities for your climate? (Where I live in the northern climate, this is no longer much of an option for me!)
- Are you finding your climate to be restricting? (I do).
- Have you thought about moving to a different climate? Or at least get away for part of the colder months?
- What outdoor programs are offered by your senior center?
- Does a local community center offer outdoor programs?
- Join an outdoor sports team — there are teams available just for seniors. Inquire with your Parks and Rec Dept. or senior center. Or maybe you’re qualified to coach younger people, if you can no longer play, yourself.
- If you don’t have a garden or patio available, you can set up an attractive area right in front of a favorite window – a garden style table and a couple of chairs; potted plants or hanging plants, a mobile, garden statues and décor. Your indoor “garden” has many uses, and it brings the look of the outdoors inside! And provides all kinds of interesting retirement ideas.
- If you do have a yard or patio, create a showplace garden, however small. Or even on your windowsill. Your local nursery can help you choose a variety of easy-to-maintain plants and flowers. Perhaps a bonsai?
- Join a club – outdoor retirement activities are more fun with other seniors and people of all ages. And you’re more likely to continue. Garden, walking or biking clubs are ideal. Either something you enjoyed before, or something brand new.
- Take up fishing. Or boating. Or both. Or water skiing. My Dad actually water skiid when he was 84 years old!
- Exercise for seniors offer loads of retirement ideas, and of course important to keep joints limber and bones and heart strong. How about a bicycle – there are paths and programs ideal for this popular elderly activity. Find them through your city parks division, your senior center, or even a local college.
- Or maybe just plain walking. Many medical experts believe this is the best overall elderly exercise. DAd’s doctor encouraged him to walk daily, even when he was in his late 90s. Ask about local walking events and walking clubs.
- If you are an outdoor sports enthusiast, check into the National Senior Games Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle and options for senior exercise. They have a variety of state and national competitions seniors can participate in and can even help you find a partner or team to join.
- Check into special travel trips that emphasize an outdoor activity or another climate, including adventure travel. A local travel agency may have information about this. There are several senior tour and cruise options available.
- Plan picnics and parties outdoors — you can combine them with other celebrations, biking, walking, hiking, gardening, as well as group meetings.
- If you don’t have a pet, arrange to help walk someone else’s pet outdoors.
Now also take a look at our related page on more specifics at:
Outdoor Elderly Activities.
Pet Retirement Ideas
Do you love animals? Perhaps when you worked it was not practical for you to have a pet. But during retirement, caring for pets makes great activities for seniors.
- If you are able to volunteer, animal shelters are a wonderful option.
- Or perhaps take home a pet who needs special care yourself. Experts know that caring for a pet has great benefits to our well-being of the elderly and baby boomers too. And they can provide very loyal companionship. I have friend who was a “foster family” to a needy pet from a shelter, until a permanent family was found.
- If you live in a housing complex that does not allow pets, how about pet sitting in someone else’s home? Many working folks would love to have someone come in and walk and feed their pet, and give it some play time. (This also could provide additional income). I had a work associate who gave up her busy management career to do this new career, and was very successful! Another close friend did have someone come in to provide such a service for her and her pet – it really freed up her life.
- If you don’t want to make an ongoing commitment, perhaps just offer to walk or play with your neighbor’s pet from time to time.
- Are you interested in more exotic pets, including fish, birds, reptiles – even tarantulas? Visit a pet store and take a look around. Ask questions. Read. Just do your research and make sure you thoroughly know what you’re getting into first.
- What about working at a local pet store. For those who are not able to have a pet at home, this is a satisfying alternative. And again, extra income.
More Retirement Ideas
We have too many ideas to all fit on this page, so we’ve broken it down into further categories. Be sure to check these out too…
Retirement Hobbies — Finding A Hobby — Finding a hobby that is just right for you will give you a lifetime of enjoyment. Here’s the coolest list of hobby ideas (for all ages) either to do alone or in a group.
Traveling — Senior Citizen Travel — Traveling is the top retirement activity after work life no matter what your budget; or even if you don’t retire. I’ve traveled all over and have lots of valuable tips.
Volunteering — Learning and Volunteer Ideas — Learning and volunteer work can go hand in hand. Either are excellent retirement ideas – whether you’re actually retired or not.
Fun Activities — Senior Activity Ideas — Check out this variety of senior activities for baby boomers, or those “of a certain age.” We include things for both indoors and outdoors. Easy to modify to fit special needs.
Crafts — Easy Craft Ideas — Maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of learning a new craft during retirement. (And maybe even to do for profit.)
Cool Quote & Retirement Message Ideas – Need a cool quote or retirement message? Well we have dozens of all kinds here. Big array of quotes for all occasions.
Other web sites with retirement ideas:
Fashion After 50 – This is the most fabulous web site I’ve seen on fashion and accessories for the mature woman. Both elegant and practical – a must-see!
It’s never too late to learn how to build kites. This site starts with a few very simple designs. Quick to make and proven to fly well in light winds. However, if the kite bug bites, you could spend years building and flying the more advanced designs found here!
Helping Seniors In Transition – A one stop shop program designed to take the stress out of managing the transition from family home to nursing home residential living of a senior family member or loved one.
Are you planning a retirement celebration?…For gracious, yet great goodbyes and free farewell speeches see Retirement Speeches at find-the-words.com.