Elderly man working in the woodworking shop at his senior living community

Hobbies for Seniors

What’s the quickest, easiest way to help protect your body and brain health for the long term? Getting involved in an engaging hobby. Thanks to the proven effects of physical activity and mental stimulation on longevity and quality of life, you can find real, noticeable benefits from hobbies and doing the things that bring you joy.

Why Hobbies Are Important

Simply put, hobbies keep you active — socially, physically and spiritually. Studies have shown that social isolation is one of the biggest (yet most underrated) risk factors for seniors’ long-term health. Getting out of the house to do something with your friends or engaging in a stimulating activity helps to keep you healthy. Even a seemingly solitary activity can bring connection to a wider community of peers, fostering genuine camaraderie and reminding us that we’re not alone. Hobbies are important if you are for people in independent living or even seniors that need a higher level of care and are at nursing homes.

12 Senior-Friendly Hobbies

If you’re looking for some fun, interesting and enriching ways to stay active, look no further. These 12 senior-friendly hobbies are sure to keep you sharp.

1. Reading & Writing.
The best retirement hobbies are the things we wish we had more time for while we were working — for many people, reading more is first on the list. Whether you’re picking through the classics or working on penning your own masterpiece, there’s no better time to start. Consider joining a book club or writers’ group to find other folks with the same passion.

2. Painting.Seniors enjoying their hobby of painting outdoors. There are few purer forms of personal expression than painting. Don’t let your inner art snob stop you from taking part in this therapeutic activity. You might not become the next Rembrandt, but you will certainly reap the rewards. Plus, painting classes are a fun social activity where you can make a lot of new friends.

3. Exploring.
Take a hike! No, we aren’t being rude — just get up and take a look around your neighborhood. Walking has widely known benefits for your musculoskeletal strength and heart health, and you never know what you might find just outside your door. If you do go for a hike, try to bring a buddy. It’s much more fun that way — and a lot safer, too.

Seniors enjoying the hobby of playing golf outdoors.

4. Golfing.
Give it a swing. You’ll enjoy the lovely weather and spirit of the game, alongside the enrichment of friendly competition. Plus, it’s a great way to get in an enlivening morning or afternoon walk.

5. Volunteering.
Feed your spirit by joining a worthy cause. Whether it’s reading to kids once a week at the local library or working at a nearby animal shelter, you’ll feel fulfilled and engaged in your community.

6. Yoga.
How do you combine flexibility, strength, fellowship and meditation into one activity? Join a yoga class! Your body will thank you — and your new friends will, too.

7. Games.Senior women enjoying the hobby of practicing yoga and stretching. We all have fond childhood memories of playing cards and board games with our friends. Rekindle the fun; starting a gaming group can provide great opportunities to reignite friendships and connect with family members.

8. Gardening.
You don’t need to have a green thumb to take up this hobby. Just pick a plant, drop the seeds and — most importantly — enjoy what you grow. From fruit to flowers, many neighborhoods and senior living communities provide gardening space for their residents.

9. Dancing.Senior man enjoying the hobby of gardening and outdoor work. Whether it’s with a partner or a solo act, dancing is a fantastic way to maintain your balance and have a great time doing it. Best of all, cutting a rug to your favorite songs is a wonderful way to stay fit without hitting the gym.

10. Handicrafts. From woodworking to crochet, handicrafts are another good way to keep your mind engaged. If you live at a senior living community, ask around about craft groups to meet peers who share your passion.

Senior retired couple enjoying traveling abroad as a part of their hobbies.

11. Cooking. Many agree that cooking is a hobby everyone should enjoy. After all, you get to eat what you make! While many of us cook out of necessity, cooking for fun is all about learning, experimenting and having a good time. Devoting an afternoon to preparing an exotic new dish leads to many delicious returns.

12. Travel. This is a big one. Almost everyone wishes they had more time to travel — now that you do, don’t let it go to waste! See all the places you most wanted to see and do it all.

Home to Hobbies, Big and Small

At The Buckingham, you’ll find serious support for all the things you love to do. We believe in accommodating each person, which means hosting a number of hobby and interest groups, along with spaces designed for more solitary activities. Whether you like the arts, working with your hands, or both, you’ll find your niche of like-minded folks here.

Senior citizen man reading a book in a home library.