For most, the idea of retiring and not having to report to work on the regular sounds idyllic. After years of working a nine-to-five, your loved one is likely looking forward to open-ended days full of relaxation. However, this isn’t always the case, and, in many instances, retirees find themselves feeling bored and even depressed. One study found that men, in particular, are 40 percent more likely to suffer from clinical depression after retirement. Encouraging your loved one to try new hobbies is an excellent way to sharpen cognitive ability, keep the mind active and engaged, remain socially active, and prevent the symptoms of depression that can lead to serious health problems.
Retired seniors should not only continue pursuing passions and hobbies that they’ve always enjoyed, but should also try new things as a means to be challenged and stimulate new neuron pathways.
Your loved one may enjoy one or more of the following hobbies:
Gather some watercolors, acrylics, brushes, and canvases and encourage your senior to try their hand at painting. Painting is a fun and relaxing hobby and helps to sharpen the mind while delivering numerous health benefits. Once they’ve gotten the hang of it, head outdoors to a local park to paint the scenery or to a local museum to gather some inspiration.
Getting involved in volunteer work provides a sense of purpose, offers opportunities for socialization, and makes an impact on the community. Libraries, hospitals, animal shelters, and organizations such as Habitat for Humanity are great places to get started.
Whether your senior is an old pro in the kitchen or has never picked up a spatula before, cooking is an excellent way to get creative and connect with others. Your senior may prefer to gather inspiration from cookbooks and food magazines or to enroll in a local cooking class. Either way, they’ll have fun whipping up delicious new treats and sharing them with their loved ones.
Literature and Poetry
Getting lost in a good book or poem awakens the senses and opens up the mind to new thoughts and ideas. Exposing seniors to literature and poetry is beneficial to brain health and has also been shown to relieve stress and improve mood. To get started, check out Ageless Authors, a publishing service for senior writers, and the book “I Never Told Anybody.”
It’s never too late to get in shape. Fitness centers and gyms are excellent places to meet other retirees while reaping the benefits that come along with staying active. If your loved one prefers to exercise solo, suggest walking, bike riding, swimming, or even tai chi.
Knitting, along with sewing, quilting, and cross-stitching, is an excellent way to engage the brain while strengthening fine motor skills and, in some cases, relieve chronic pain. To promote socialization, check your local library or senior center to see if they hold weekly knitting groups. Your senior may also be interested in giving back to the community by knitting for charity.
Maybe your loved one is already passionate about a particular subject or hobby and would like to share it with others. Look into local community colleges for adjunct positions or community centers looking for adult or teen programming instructors. Not only will your loved one be able to pass on their knowledge, but they may also be able to make a few bucks at the same time!
Find a Part-Time Job
While working may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about hobbies, the benefits gained from continuing to work are numerous. Working offers up opportunities for socialization and combats loneliness, provides mental stimulation to keep the brain healthy and promotes physical health.
Making the transition to retirement can be a rewarding time, though it’s filled with numerous considerations. From changing medical needs to care considerations, one thing to tackle as a family is whether joining a senior living community or staying at home will provide the best quality of life. Our comprehensive Stay or Go Guide is packed with what you need to know to you assess your or your loved ones’ needs. Make the best choice, download your copy today →