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Top 10 Hobbies for Seniors or Older People

Hobbies and events for elderly people enable them to do what they enjoy and improve their mood and cognitive skills. When hobbies are practised, they support physical and mental health, creativity, relaxation and feelings of happiness. It can be easy for elderly people to feel isolated or stuck in a daily routine whether they live in a care home or their family home. By introducing new hobbies, elderly people can socialise with like-minded people, have a stronger sense of purpose and increase their overall happiness.

Why are hobbies important for elderly people?

Hobbies provide elderly people with an opportunity to socialise, experience something new and improve their physical and mental health. With consistent engagement in hobbies, elderly people can combat feelings of loneliness, boredom and social isolation and enhance their wellbeing, self-esteem and life satisfaction. It gives elderly people a sense of purpose by accomplishing a task that they enjoy. Hobbies also challenge the brain which can decrease the risk of cognitive decline. Participating in new hobbies can be challenging at first which can stimulate the brain and contribute to maintaining cognitive health.

Which hobbies are best for elderly people?

Arts and crafts

Arts and crafts encompass a wide range of activities which enable elderly people to get creative, from painting and knitting to scrapbooking or making something new. Arts and crafts involve hands-on activities which can improve motor skills, increase focus and strengthen social connections. Examples of arts and crafts activities include painting a picture, creating a photo album, making fun jewellery or crafting gifts for special occasions.


Birdwatching is a rewarding activity that can be done anywhere from the communal room in a care home to your local park or back garden. It is a great way to influence elderly people to get outside for vitamin D and fresh air. Birdwatching encourages people to spend more time outdoors observing nature and exploring new things. There are many benefits related to birdwatching including reduced stress levels, improved relaxation and mental wellbeing.

Music and instruments

Music and sound are important aspects of everyday life. The right song can trigger special memories and take elderly people back to significant moments in their lives. Music has been shown to enhance moods, improve memory loss and promote positive emotions. Music can also enhance the quality of sleep and reduce stress. To help elderly people engage in music, consider creating a personalised playlist with songs you know they will love or encouraging them to play a musical instrument.

Sports and fitness activities

A great way to encourage older adults to do some form of movement is through fitness activities. Examples of fitness activities suitable for elderly people include walking, team sports, yoga or swimming. These activities are something that can be completed alone or within a group. This form of hobby can encourage new friendships and reduce feelings of loneliness, while also improving physical and mental health. Fitness activities can be tailored to any fitness capability and require minimum equipment to complete.


While you might not think it, gardening is a fantastic way of encouraging elderly people to remain active. It is a low-impact activity that requires the use of muscles from head to toe. Gardening can increase the body’s level of vitamin D and improve your mood by being outside in nature. Gardening enthusiasts can join garden clubs where they can socialise with like-minded people and share their knowledge.

Baking and cooking

Baking treats or cooking meals is a common hobby that many elderly people enjoy. There are many different ways that baking can benefit senior citizens including reducing stress, triggering positive emotions and memories, stimulating the brain and encouraging creativity. Baking isn’t just about creating a culinary masterpiece, it’s about relaxing and unwinding. Consider taking your elderly loved ones to a baking class to help calm their nerves, boost happiness and promote social interactions with other like-minded individuals.

Puzzles and games

You don’t always have to engage in group activities to enjoy a hobby. Playing solo games such as puzzles is a great way to keep the brain active and improve memory, release stress and benefit mental health. Days can be long and boring for many elderly people, so engaging in a game that can be completed at any time is a great way to decrease feelings of boredom and improve mental health. Crossword puzzles are a great way of keeping the mind sharp and staying up to date with knowledge.


Photography is a great activity which encourages elderly people to get outdoors and explore new places. Photography encourages elderly people to use their creativity when capturing images which can lead to the exploration of different variables when capturing images such as different lighting and backgrounds. Starting a collection of photography and showing it to loved ones can promote a great sense of satisfaction in elderly people and give them a sense of purpose and happiness.


Reading is a great hobby to keep the mind occupied and the brain stimulated. Elderly people can read things of interest to them, whether it is a fiction novel, a piece of poetry or a historic book. Another great way to make reading even more enjoyable for elderly people is to join a book club. This enables elderly people to socialise with others and get involved in discussions about their opinions on their favourite books. Joining a book club can also introduce elderly people to books they wouldn’t have otherwise read, which may help them uncover new interests that they didn’t know they had.

Learning new skills

Retirement is a great time to learn new skills. Learning new skills keeps the brain healthy and gives elderly people a sense of achievement when they master their new ability. Why not learn a new skill such as baking, crocheting, sign language or dancing? Teaching yourself new skills provides a stimulating mental challenge, which is important in the battle against dementia and cognitive decline. Joining an adult learning course to learn new skills is also a great way of keeping the brain stimulated and socialise with new people. 

Every individual has different interests. By participating in a hobby or interest, elderly people are keeping their minds occupied and getting movement in, keeping their mental and physical condition in good health. Making time for hobbies and activities should be a priority to reduce feelings of boredom or social isolation and ignite their passions to enhance their wellbeing.

At The Fremantle Trust, we provide our residents with a range of activities and games in our nursing homes and residential care homes in Buckinghamshire. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to have fun and get involved. We want our elderly residents to continue with their hobbies but also find new ones, by getting involved with activities they may not have tried before. 

We have care homes located across the Buckinghamshire county. Learn more about care homes nearest to you:
Care home Aylesbury
Care home Princes Risborough
Care home Chalfont St Peter
Care home Amersham
Care homes Slough
Care home Chesham
Care home Stoke
Burnham care homes
Care homes High Wycombe
Care homes Marlow