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5 Safe and Fun Hobbies for Seniors
Marissa Salvesen

By: Marissa Salvesen on January 13th, 2015

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5 Safe and Fun Hobbies for Seniors

assisted living  |  tips for caregivers  |  activities for seniors  |  Aging & Caregiving

UMH_Senior_PaintingHobbies are an excellent way to support the mind and body while staying active, connecting with others, and finding a sense of fulfillment -- all experiences which often diminish with age. Inspire your aging loved one with these five ideas designed to help him/her put down the remote control and pick up a rewarding new hobby. 

1. Scrapbooking

Many seniors have shoeboxes full of cherished photos. Scrapbooking is a great way to give these old pictures a fresh, new look. Completed scrapbooks make great keepsakes for family and friends. If your aging loved one enjoys writing, this hobby can be transformed into a memoir project by incorporating text about each photo. 

2. Gardening

Studies consistently show that physical activity promotes a healthier lifestyle. Gardening is an excellent form of exercise which can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Depending on your loved one's health, consider an outside vegetable or flower garden. If your parent has difficulty maneuvering outdoors, explore indoor gardening options, such as container gardens and window boxes. This can also help boost self-confidence. After all, who doesn't love showing off the fruits (and vegetables!) of their labor?

3. Arts & Crafts

Whether your aging loved one has a lifelong love of drawing or has always wanted to take a pottery class, there are many options for embracing the Picasso within. Look into courses at a local senior center, community college, or art supply store. Not only is an art class a great outlet for fostering creativity, but motor skills also get a beneficial workout.

4. Performing Arts

Theater is a popular hobby for both the young and young at heart. Community theater organizations frequently put on performances and use local talent to fill roles. Look for audition notices in the newspaper and via social media. If your aging loved one is not interested in the spotlight, look into volunteering options, such as ushering and ticket sales. Other performing arts opportunities include community chorale groups and bands, both of which also offer ideal opportunities for social interactions.

5. Sewing, Knitting & Crocheting

If your aging loved one already knows how to sew, knit, or crochet, suggest that he/she make items to donate to hospitals, healthcare centers, or military troops. Entrepreneurial types can make some extra spending money by selling these handmade goods at local flea markets, craft shows, and online.

Key Takeaways 

  • Finding an enjoyable hobby is an important way to stay engaged in life and connected with others.
  • To identify the perfect activity, encourage your loved one to make a list of both former and "bucket list" hobbies.
  • Home improvement stores, craft shops, community centers and libraries are great places to find free classes. Some senior living communities also offer free art and educational classes on a regular basis.
  • If your aging loved one has physical or cognitive limitations, select activities within his/her comfort zone.
  • Share this hobby if possible: the more you do together and with family, the greater your aging loved one's engagement level will be.

About Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.