Hobbies & interests for the elderly

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By undertaking hobbies and interests as you get older, you can add some more variety to your life. These pastimes can also reduce the risk of suffering from loneliness in your elderly years, not to mention offering so many benefits to your health. Join award-winning stairlift supplier Acorn Stairlifts as they explain more and advise on the things that every senior citizen should be taking part in…

Get involved in arts & crafts

Whether it is by painting, photographing scenes that interest you, scrapbooking, knitting, sewing or sculpting, arts and crafts can stimulate the brain and be cathartic. All of these pastimes can be enjoyed as part of a social activity too, so is great for when friends and family come to visit.

Take note as well that art therapy exists and is great for stimulating the brain, stirring cherished memories and providing those who may be suffering from dementia with a better quality of life.

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Take up Nordic walking

All types of walking are great for older people, as it’s a type of fitness that’s simple to get involved in and a pursuit that most people can do. However, we advise that you look into Nordic walking in particular as you’re getting older.

Originating as a summer training regime undertaken by cross-country skiers, Nordic walking has become a full-body exercise which the UK’s National Health Service describes as being “easy on the joints and suitable for all ages and fitness levels. It’s based on using specially designed walking poles in a way that harnesses the power of the upper body to propel you forward as you walk”.

The use of walking poles helps to take the stress off the knees and lower body joints when mobile, while the entire pursuit has been found to reduce the risk of suffering from chronic illnesses like asthma, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Start dancing

If you’re mobile and looking to do something a little more than just walking, we recommend you take up the fun and energetic activity of dancing.

This is a pursuit that can improve gait, balance and overall functioning in senior citizens, as well as reducing the chances of someone suffering from a fall, fracture or immobility as they reach their elderly years.

Ballroom dancing may be the type of dancing to look into over any other too, especially since a study conducted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine deemed the pastime to be linked to a lower risk of dementia. According to the study’s researchers, this is because of the mental challenge which is tied to practicing complex dance steps and also moving in a time that matches the rhythm of the music being played.

Enjoy a spot of gardening

Make gardening a hobby and you’ll receive so many benefits to your health — both physically and mentally. The pastime will naturally boost the amount of physical activity you get involved with, increase your mobility, encourage the use of your motor skills and enhance your strength and endurance levels alike.

Gardening obviously results in you getting outdoors to take in some fresh air as well. There’s so much that you can be doing in your home’s outdoor space too, such as planting and then caring for a huge array of flowers and plants, cutting the lawn so that it shows off a wonderful and neat design, and growing your own fruit and vegetables.

Welcome a pet into your home

You’ll be hard pressed to find a more loyal companion than a pet, especially when you’re getting older and have less regular contact with family and friends.

Your health can also be boosted in so many ways when you have a pet to care for, if these findings are anything to go by:

  • Pets produce a chemical chain reaction in the brain which works to lower the levels of the hormone cortisol — known to induce stress — and increases the production of serotonin; the feelgood hormone.
  • People with a pet have a better chance of survival if they suffer a heart attack, according to a study carried out in the US.
  • Pet owners reported in a study conducted by Cambridge University in the UK that they suffered from fewer minor ailments, such as coughs, colds and headaches, when compared to those who didn’t own a pet.

Play some games & solve some puzzles

When it comes to having fun and also undertaking something that’s a little challenging without the need to necessarily get active, you can’t go wrong with playing a game. Card games, Bridge, Scrabble and the like are all great for senior citizens as they keep their minds sharp, while critical thinking conundrums and crosswords keeps the brain fit.

For an extra challenge, have you considered trying your hand at completing a jigsaw? Available with a variety of pieces to assemble as well as 3D setups these days, you can choose from a huge selection of images or even get one of your precious photographs transformed into a puzzle for a very unique touch to you.

On top of providing older people with days if not weeks of fun, jigsaw puzzles are also fantastic for giving the brain a workout and enabling the cognitive functions to remain active.

 

Whether you intend to get outdoors and start gardening, sit back and enjoy some knitting or challenge yourself to a tricky jigsaw puzzle, there’s so many hobbies and interests available to you even when you get older — pastimes that will provide so much enjoyment and also be great for your health and wellbeing. Have fun bringing them into your lives!

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Derek

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