The Top 5 New Hobbies for The Elderly In 2021
The past year has been an unforgettable one and for the elderly, an extremely hard one. According to Age UK, more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and more than a million older people say they will sometimes go over a month without speaking to a friend, family member, or neighbour.
At Fenetic Wellbeing we understand how important it is for the elderly to feel social, as feeling lonely can cause a serious decline in physical and mental wellbeing.
To eradicate the feeling of loneliness, it’s important to engage with activities on a regular basis. Whether this is doing a short online exercise class or drawing the view from your window, hobbies like this are sure to improve your mood.
So, we have scoured the internet the top 5 unique hobbies that the elderly can take up in 2021, from the comfort of their own home:
2021 Hobbies For The Elderly:
Connecting with nature, creative activities and the sensory stimulation of sights and sounds help maintain people's physical and mental wellbeing, particularly those living with dementia, and the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch is coming up on 29th-31st January.
A leading expert on garden wildlife, Sean McMenemy, Director of Ark Wildlife believes there are many benefits of birdwatching for the elderly, and he says this:
“Remaining positive and keeping the mind stimulated whilst stuck inside is difficult, but there's always room for learning more even in someone's later years. Gazing out the window, or exploring the garden is a great way to engage the mind. Counting, recording, drawing, observing, and identifying visiting birds are all valuable learning opportunities that are fun and engaging.”
“Spending time watching or walking in nature has been shown to benefit both mind and body, and this is as true for older people as well as young. Sitting quietly in fresh air or walking in open spaces calms the mind and body, it balances our physiology and promotes the production of positive hormones. Slowing to the pace of nature and it’s natural rhythms is greatly beneficial by providing a sense of escape from the everyday routine, which is especially valuable during a lockdown when each day brings a lack of variation. Time spent in nature is never wasted.”
“Birds are very present in all our lives. Even those who say they ‘know nothing’ when asked, are surprised when questioned about common birds. Once minds are opened, people can often identify a dozen or more birds they didn’t realise they knew.”
Any amount of physical activity, however mall, is good for you. Exercising for as little as ten minutes a day can boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality, and energy, as well as reducing stress. On top of that, it will also improve your cardiovascular system, which means your heart and lungs will work more efficiently.
Physiotherapist, Lyndsay Hirst, and owner of Your Pilate Physio suggests that modified Pilates could be a good hobby for the elderly to take up in 2021.
Your Pilate Physio teachers online clinical Pilates, which is a modified version of Pilates for any with chronic pain or joint problems. Clinical Pilates encourages core muscles to strengthen and teaches the body to control its movement by using a variety of muscles that mimic functional activities.
So, not only will online Pilates benefit the elderly physically, but it gives the opportunity for the elderly to talk to someone online when they might go days without this communication.
Armchair travel is all about experiencing the world without even having to leave your chair at home. Armchair travel is great for everyone, at any age, but particularly for older people.
Armchair travel focuses on sensory travel experiences for the elderly and allowing them to discover the world without going anywhere.
There are several ways to discover the world from the comfort of your home, including the following:
Popular culture – There is nothing quite like immersing yourself in popular culture to get a taste for different countries around the world. If you want to armchair travel to Spain, why not purchase some books set in Spain, or watch a Spanish movie or documentary with English subtitles. Indulging in this will provide the ultimate escapism and will let you explore new cultures in a whole new light.
Reading – Reading books about travel and exploring the world can be a great way to experience new cultures and unveil hidden gems that you might not know is out there. Lonely Plant’s Ultimate Travel List is a great book to purchase if you want to discover ' the greatest places to visit on earth’.
Podcasts – Podcasts are a great way to escape into travel, and there are many out there to choose from. Putting on headphones and losing yourself in the words of a podcast host can be extremely therapeutic, as it transports you to new experiences and worlds. Some travel podcasts we recommend is the World Nomads Travel Podcast and the World Wanderers podcast.
Skill up – Why not learn a new language! Learning a new language can sometimes feel like an overwhelming and impossible challenge, but platforms such as Duolingo have made learning a new language inviting and exciting. Duolingo tailors are lessons to the individual, so you can learn at your own pace.
Virtual tours – Attractions and countries around the world have taken advantage of the idea of armchair travel, and have created simulations and tours that can be watched through a computer screen or television. So, why not immerse yourselves in Machu Picchu or journey through Patagonia?
Virtual museums and art galleries – Similar to virtual touring, museums, and art galleries all over the world are creating online experiences for those who want to take a look at their exhibitions. Check out these 12 museums offering virtual tours.
In-room gardening is a unique but fun way to bring the outdoors in. During the winter the elderly might find themselves feeling de-motivated to go outside because of the cold weather. This means the elderly are missing out on all the benefits that nature exudes, which can encourage a low mood. Another way to combat this is to create an indoor garden, so you can keep warm and enjoy the benefits of the outdoors all at the same time.
The first step in creating an outdoor garden s to choose the space you want the garden to be. During this process, it's important to find a space that’s not too warm or too old and a space that has natural light flowing through.
The next step is to choose the plants you think would be happy living in the room you’ve chosen. If you are unsure what plants to choose from, check out one of our recent blog posts on the 15 house plants that are good for the elderly to have in their homes.
Once you have chosen and bought your preferred plants, it’s time to set up your indoor garden! This can be a fun process, and you could even buy a few garden-related interior items to accompany the plants. Palm leaf wallpaper, anyone?
Make sure to check in on your garden every day to ensure your plants are happy and thriving.
This might not be the most unique hobby, but it's an underrated one. Solving puzzles has many benefits for the elderly, including enhanced memory, better cognitive skills, improved concentration, and much more. It has also been said that engaging in puzzles could reduce the chances of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Taking up puzzling can also be a great way to communicate with new people. There are many puzzle communities out there on social media, where you can talk to like-minded people that have an interest in puzzles. Check out the Jigsaw Puzzle Enthusiasts Facebook group here.
Whether it's travelling to Spain from the comfort of your own home or taking up Birdwatching in preparation for the Big Garden Bird Watch, there are many hobbies that the elderly can take part in during 2021. So, which hobby will you choose?