As Ahsoka Tano announced in Star Wars; “This is a new day, a new beginning.” That is the way many seniors have come to view their hobbies, old and new. In terms of senior mind, body and spirit wellness, there are few things as beneficial as hobbies to keep seniors active, safe and healthy.
Senior caregivers are proponents of anything that encourages motion, stimulates the mind and encourages social interaction. For most seniors, passionately pursuing a hobby creates all of the above and then some.
Senior Living Communities Embrace Hobbies
That is why the finest senior living communities in the US promote hobby activities by retaining instructors like artists, carpenters, musicians and more to help seniors learn, practice and work with other seniors. The wellness elements of hobbies have been recognized by most senior living communities and are definitely preferred over inactive activities like watching television.
This helps explain why so many senior communities have invested in and marketed designated hobby areas and instructional programs. One noted psychologist explains that because many seniors have lost friends, a spouse and/or other family members, the social interaction created by working with other like-minded seniors on hobbies is an extremely positive experience.
Hobbies are not as much a distraction as they are exercises in focus and friendly interaction with instructors and other hobbyists. Most hobbies require degrees of mental dexterity and healthy amounts of eye-hand coordination, both valuable attributes. Hobbies, like gardening, that require movement and that can be safely pursued outdoors are especially desirable.
Painting, building model airplanes, writing clubs, movie clubs, book clubs and playing card games, especially bridge, are all encouraged by today’s senior communities. Many seniors have such regard for these activities that they plan their week around these hobbies.
Physicians and psychologists report that there are distinct health benefits to being active and engaged. Specifically, hobbies are an excellent line of defense against heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and arthritis. Physical exercise is also effective against brain disorders and dementia. Hobbies relieve physical and emotional stress as increased social engagement helps most seniors stay in the present and live a more balanced life.
Leisure Time Carries Weight
Leisure time, physical activity and hobbies work hand-in-hand to encourage healthy aging. This is why senior communities place so much emphasis on their fitness, hobby and wellness programs. We see more and more senior communities encouraging water aerobics, walking classes, bird watching, caravans to museums and participation in bridge clubs.
Whatever the activity, sharing the experience with others builds bonds and forges much needed relationships. At the same time, as confidence grows, seniors restore their self-esteem and improve their self-confidence. The key is consistency.
Senior communities that sponsor a variety of hobbies can expect seniors to be safe and busy as often as the classes or hobby rooms are open. Research has shown that seniors get a psychological lift from hobbies. When seniors are a little low, they gain positive stimulation from leisure time and exploring their hobby of choice.
The pursuit of a hobby is often likely to encourage the senior to explore new things and new activities. Hobbies can also open the door to new friends with shared interests. Dancing and travel clubs are especially helpful for these benefits.
If your loved one is enthusiastic about a new hobby or activity and expresses interest in returning to an old hobby that has been missing from their life, be supportive. Your enthusiasm can influence their decision to engage senior mind, body spirit wellness. If the senior living community has hobby and wellness initiatives, encourage your loved one to get involved. Once seniors are engaged, the change is magnetic. Let’s promote senior activities!