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10 Hobbies That Can Bring Joy to Seniors All Year Long

Ten engaging activities for seniors that can help promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. 

 

Seniors are playing more and more video games

Here are 10 easy and enjoyable activities tailored to seniors:

The winter months can cause cabin fever for many of us, but there are plenty of year-round activities to stay active and keep doing the things you love to stave off feelings of isolation or boredom. For seniors, in particular, it’s essential to plan intentional activities that support physical, mental, and emotional health. Older adults are physically and mentally healthier when they maintain social connections and foster relationships. According to Forbes, Studies show that socially isolated people have a 50% greater risk of developing dementia and other health issues. Trying new activities and/or rekindling old hobbies that bring joy throughout the winter—or even better—all year long is a step to a healthier, more enjoyable season, regardless of the time of year.  Researchers for Alzheimer's and other memory care dementias believe that doing new games or hobbies forces the brain to create new neural pathways and strengthen the brain–much like building other muscles in your arms or legs.  

Here are 10 activities that seniors can do no matter what the day looks like outside the window. 

1 Writing
Writing is a simple way seniors can keep mentally and cognitively stimulated while indoors, and best of all, it only requires a pencil and paper. Penning daily journals, memoirs, fiction, letters, and postcards are easy ways to begin a writing practice.

2 Chess
Chess is a wonderful game that stimulates several parts of the brain at once. It can be played in person or online and doesn’t require anything other than a chess board. Senior chess clubs are popping up all over the country and meeting in person is a great way to socialize with others while exercising the brain.  

3 Video Games
More seniors are playing video games than ever before. According to an AARP survey, 44% of adults over 50 years old played video games in 2019 at least once a month and averaged five hours of game time a week. Video games can be played on mobile phones, tablets, computers, and gaming consoles. What’s more, there are even games designed specifically for older adults.  Popular online games include Wordle, Daily Word Search, and Solitaire.  

4 Indoor Gardening
When most people think of garden they think of being outdoors. However, there are plenty of indoor gardening options for those with a green thumb who love the life and energy plants can bring to a home. The easiest way to get started is to purchase a terrarium and fill it with your favorite indoor plants.  

5 Learn an Instrument
Playing music can be a lifelong hobby that stimulates the mind and soul. Even learning simpler instruments, like harmonica or bongo drums, can have a positive effect on mood as well as exercise the brain. While some instruments are harder to learn than others, many seniors have successfully learned classic instruments like piano and guitar.  Community education programs often have music lessons for seniors at a low cost.  Music stores sit idle during the day while students are in school.  This can be a good time to that trombone or tuba out in the store!  

6 Exercise
We all know exercise is beneficial to both our physical and mental health, and many studies have specifically shown the benefits of exercise on senior health. Thanks to the internet, it’s straightforward to find free senior exercise routines that can be done from the comfort of home. A quick online video search will yield free exercise routines for every ability and interest, including yoga, body weight movements, and resistance band exercises that require little or no equipment. Comfort Keepers also has a list of low-impact exercises for older adults here

7 Learn a Language
Learning a different language can bring both joy and a sense of accomplishment. And with modern technology, accessing language lessons is easier than ever. Mobile phone apps and online courses make learning a new language fun and possible without an instructor. Studies show that learning a new language benefits the mind and is easier to do than many seniors think.  Online apps like Babble allow you to learn in a variety of ways.  Listen, speak, and read the content to support a learning path that works best for you–oh yes, and it listens to how you say the words which helps me say it correctly in public!  

8 Book Club
The joy and fascination of reading can be amplified when shared with others. Many older adults find enjoyment and motivation in joining book clubs that meet in person or virtually. Reading and thoughtful, lively discussions during book club meetings keep the mind sharp and offer socialization opportunities to reduce feelings of isolation.

9 Volunteer
There are many rewarding, community-oriented volunteer activities for seniors. Programs like foster grandparents, after-school sessions, and community gardens provide social, feel-good opportunities that give a sense of purpose. After all, bringing joy to others is one of the best ways to create joy in one’s own life.

10 Painting
Art and painting as a hobby goes back thousands of years–and for good reason. It takes very little physical movement while providing mental stimulus, a creative outlet, and stress relief. Even better, painting works well as a solo activity, or one done with friends or loved ones.  To support this you can find both art and craft centers all over the northern suburbs.  

Comfort Keepers® Can Help

We write a monthly guide to getting out in the Twin Cities called Seniors Out and About Twin Cities.  We look for places seniors can visit that are accessible and can be done with the family.  You can subscribe to get the blogs!  We believe that every senior should experience the best in life. If you have questions about Comfort Keepers' uplifting in-home care services, please contact us today.

References
AARP. Video Games Score Big With Older Adults. Web. 2019.
Forbes. The ‘Loneliness Epidemic’ Among The Elderly May Not Be What It Seems. Web. 2021.
TIME. Want to Prevent Aging? Learn a New Language. Web. 2012.



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