Rochester, Lehi, Sioux City, and Waterloo-Cedar Falls: What do these U.S. cities have in common? Adult care centers are present in these cities for older Americans who require some form of assistance in their retirement years.
Chances are, these older adults are also looking for hobbies to fill their time with. Shuffleboard and bingo may not be their cup of tea, but luckily for them, there are hundreds of hobbies that older adults can safely pick up.
Streaming Video Games
It may seem strange for older adults to dip their toes in the hobby and livelihood of much younger folks, but there has been an increase in the number of older streamers on leading platforms. However, when you consider that the first generation of people who played video games is crossing retirement age, the leap from merely playing these games to broadcasting it becomes less mystifying.
Playing video games alone has tremendous benefits for older adults, provided they still get their walks or other forms of physical activity in. There is an increasing number of video games that are improving accessibility—easier learning curves, streamlined mechanics—for older players. Reflexes, cognition, and focus can improve by playing certain games.
Streaming adds the element of interacting with hundreds of people at the same time. Older adults re-learn how to multi-task and alleviate their loneliness. Several older gamers have found popularity through streaming and playing, including the 82-year-old Shirley Curry, also known as Skyrim Grandma.
Walking is always touted as a good exercise for older adults, but yoga can combine the cardio from walking with muscle training and flexibility improvement. Safe and supervised yoga can help alleviate lower back pain and other ailments associated with aging. Finding the right teacher can also help with creating the right routine for an older adult’s physical needs.
Meditation, an oft-forgotten part of the practice, can also help older adults cope with anxiety and other mental health problems. Breathing exercises learned from yoga may also be applied outside the studio and passed on to other adults in care centers.
Perhaps the worst and most relatable fear people have about aging is related to their memory. Biological functions slow down as people age. Mental synapses don’t fire as quickly as they used to and the memory becomes poor. Alzheimer’s and dementia are ever-present shadows for older adults and their carers.
Hobbies that help combat the degenerative effects of aging are prevalent. Perhaps the most unusual activity among them is improvisational comedy for and by older adults. This scene is host to inoffensive language, content that only older adults can relate to in terms that they can control. Coming up with humorous lines on the fly encourages older adults to keep their minds sharp, knowledge of current events active, and vocabulary fluid.
Regardless of the hobby, they should contribute to the holistic wellness of an older adult. Physical sports will keep the body healthy and fit. Interacting with a wide audience can prevent communication skills from going dull. Learning new things, in general, can exercise their mental capacities.
Almost every type of hobby can help older adults. Boredom is the enemy of graceful aging. Sitting around and failing to engage their body or brain can have detrimental effects on a person. Any hobby—unless they’re unhealthy—is worth it for older adults.