New Year is not the only time to take up a new hobby, the coming of better weather can inspire older people to try something new. Even as we continue in the COVID-19 lockdown there are many new hobbies for the elderly that can be done from home.
There is myriad research to show that hobbies and interests are essential for health and wellbeing especially as we get older,. They help to maintain and improve mental and physical health. Indeed, our ‘No Place Like Home Report’ has produced research which shows that dementia has taken over from cancer as the issue most feared by those over 55. Elderly people who have no hobbies or interests become more sedentary and more depressed. This can lead to illness and falls.
One of the most common myths among older people is that age automatically leads to lower mobility, loneliness and memory loss. But that doesn’t have to be the case. There are lots of new interests for the elderly to try and enjoy in the coming months – whether they can regularly get out of the house or not.
Learning a New Language or Skill
Age should not be a barrier to learning new things and once the nights become lighter and the weather becomes better it is easier to feel more motivated. From knitting to crafts, gardening to painting. Even learning a new language is possible online with apps like DuoLingo. Or what about a new card game, learning chess or mahjong? There is always something new to learn.
Try a New Physical Activity
If you are able to be a little more active then why not sign up for one of the many free online exercise class – a gentle pilates or age-appropriate exercise class can even be done outside in the garden to enjoy the fresh air and warm sun (if you have a portable device or laptop). Just make sure you have your GP’s permission before starting any new form of activity.
Tracing a Family Tree
Through genealogy websites researching family history has never been easier. It can be fascinating to find out about ancestors and where they lived. Local authorities or church societies nowadays provide online access to many records. Local and national family history societies can offer excellent advice on where to find information and how to collate your family tree.
People might not be able to get out to a local charity shop while shops are still closed, but here are still organisations crying out for volunteer helpers. For instance, volunteering can involve phoning around to particularly vulnerable people (young and old) to check they are OK. It can also be a way for older people to use their skills and wisdom to help others in need.
Whatever you decide to do, hobbies for the elderly can only be good for your health and wellbeing. Be open to any suggestions – you never know where a new hobby may lead…