After spending decades working and raising a family, seniors certainly have earned the right to invest their time in a hobby. Being a senior has its advantages, and having the freedom to pretty much do what you want when you want is one of them.
But, having free time can be a blessing and a curse. Boredom can lead to frustration and depression for seniors, many of whom spend long hours alone and want to do more than watch television and nap every day. All days can seem the same to a senior; a hobby can add the variety in the day that they long for.
Besides fighting boredom, why else should seniors have a hobby? Here are four good reasons.
1. Mental Stimulation
Like the muscles in the human body, the mind can atrophy if it’s not engaged and challenged. Long days alone or staring at the TV doesn’t help seniors stay sharp. Enjoying a hobby and getting out of a stale routine can be extremely satisfying for them and increase their feelings of happiness and satisfaction with life.
A hobby that stimulates the mind should be challenging but not impossible to complete. Crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and Sudoku are three great ways to engage the brain, and they can be done solo. If you’d like to enjoy a game with them that requires concentration and creative thinking, enjoy a game of Monopoly, checkers, or chess together.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of mental stimulation is that it reduces the risk of seniors developing dementia. Better cognitive function and reduced cognitive decline are big rewards for engaging the brain as a hobby.
Getting outside of their comfort zone and pushing themselves to try new things is an excellent way for a senior to discover hidden talents, giving their confidence a real boost. Every time they tackle a new milestone and improve their skills, they slowly build up their self-esteem. Everyone feels better about themselves when they’re good at something, and exploring a new hobby and succeeding at it is something they can be proud of.
Trying their hand at painting or drawing is one great way for seniors to express themselves and accomplish something memorable. Not everyone has the natural talent, but many people that stick with it develop their skills over time. Paint-by-number sets are relatively inexpensive and easy to find at a local crafts store or online.
3. Belonging and Socialization
Prolonged isolation and loneliness can adversely affect our health. Hobbies can provide the opportunity for socializing and creating new friendships. It’s been shown that strong social ties can improve heart-health and immunity, and increases longevity. Hobbies like playing cards, singing, dancing, and playing board games are great ways for them to have fun with friends.
4. Physical Exercise
Exercise is important at any age, especially during our senior years. Finding a hobby that they enjoy can make exercise fun for a senior. Golf, dance classes, or walks make for an enjoyable exercise regimen. Low-impact options like tai chi, yoga, and swimming are suitable for people of all skill levels and can be done with others.
Exercise also boosts energy and improves mental health. Anxiety and depression are reduced through improved self-esteem and cognitive function, and many activities don’t require specialized equipment other than a good pair of walking shoes or sneakers.
It’s fun for seniors to enjoy a hobby and take advantage of some of the best years of their life. Support and encourage the senior in your life to take up a hobby that they’ll enjoy and succeed at.
We Can Help Your Loved One Stay Active
We offer Companion Care that can help your senior with their hobby. Our services can help keep your aging loved one mentally and physically active. Why can we help?
Help At Home has been serving Chevy Chase, Maryland for over 20 years. Learn more about us at www.helpathomecare.com or call us at (301) 654-6789. We’ll be happy to visit with you about your needs and let you know how our friendly, professional caregivers can help you and your loved one.