A typical misconception about elderly people is that they are bored and don’t do much else other than play bingo and watch TV.
However, in reality elderly people like to have as varied a lifestyle as they are able to; from visiting friends and family to enjoying outdoor activities, exploring new places and dancing the night away.
In this article, we look at the top 11 things old people like to do for fun - and some may surprise you!
Despite not being as young as they used to be, elderly people still love to indulge their inner child by playing games.
From traditional card games and board games to modern games played on games consoles or smartphones, grandparents like to play just as much as their grandchildren.
Consoles like the Nintendo Wii also allow older people to ‘play’ games without needing to be super mobile.
There are few things elderly people love more than the chance to see their family and friends. Whether it’s a day trip out with grandchildren, a coffee and a catch-up with an old neighbour, or joining in with a community event, socialising and relaxing with friends is beneficial for mental health, particularly if you live alone.
If you are planning a move to a care home and you’re concerned you won’t see your family and friends as much, why not ask what sort of activities the home offers? This is a great way to bond and make new friends.
Getting out and about to exercise is a wonderful way to have fun for people of all ages. By taking part in group exercise such as walking groups, tai chi, yoga and water aerobics classes, elderly people can keep fit, take in some fresh air and even make new friends.
Exercising is so important for both physical and mental health, as well as being a good opportunity for older people who live alone to get out of the house during the week.
For elderly people with green fingers, gardening is a much-loved pastime. Whether it’s a small border in their back garden, helping to plant flowers and vegetables at their care home, or joining a gardening club in the community, not only does gardening offer fresh air and gentle exercise, but it’s fun to plan what to plant next and watch as the fruits of your labour grow.
Spending time outdoors in the sunshine provides a key source of vitamin D, which helps to promote healthy bones - just make sure you wear sun cream and a sun hat to protect your skin.
Another way for elderly people to have fun is to let their creative juices flow with an art class. From sculpting and modelling to life drawing, sketching and painting, there are so many different ways to get creative.
Just like children, old people might like getting their hands messy every once in a while, exploring different patterns and textures to create a real work of art. What’s more, painting and drawing can also be very therapeutic.
If your loved one doesn’t leave the house much, or they live in a care home, it’s likely that an outing or an excursion will make their day.
Depending on where they live and how mobile the person is, exploring the local area, visiting a museum or an art gallery, taking a trip to the coast, and adventuring in nature are all great options.
If you’re planning to take your loved one away for the day, why not pack a tasty picnic for lunch and document your trip with photos, videos, journaling or sketching to make it even more memorable!
Although we tend to associate gigs with the younger generation, there’s no reason why older adults can’t enjoy live music! After all, just because someone is older, doesn’t mean they lose their personal taste in music.
Sit-down concerts make for an exciting evening, while gigs often offer seated tickets for those who can’t stand for long periods of time. Plenty of venues are wheelchair-friendly too.
If your loved one lives in a care home, the home may be able to arrange for some local artists to visit for an amazing music-filled event.
Self care is becoming increasingly popular; from facials and head massages to manicures and beauty treatments. Elderly people who need a bit of TLC will surely love a spa day and a bit of much-needed pampering.
Lots of modern care homes even have an on-site hair and beauty salon, perfect for a quick pedicure or a relaxing hand massage. Not only is a trip to a spa fun, but it’s also incredible for wellbeing and mental health.
If you’re still healthy and active enough in your old age to hike, we say go for it! There are a wealth of benefits to hiking, including building stronger muscles and bones, improving heart health, bettering your sense of balance, reducing anxiety and boosting mood - what’s not to love?
Exploring new walks and trails can also be fun and invigorating. To give your hikes variety, take plenty of breaks along the way to look for new trees, flowers, birds and wildlife. From coastal walks to national parks, there are so many exciting new places to discover.
Older adults enjoy dancing just as much as young people and with lots of different types to try, you’ll easily find styles of dance that suit people with reduced mobility or stamina. Swing dancing, ballroom dancing or ballet are great for mobility and mental health and give elderly people a chance to make new friends.
Care homes and local groups usually offer at least one type of dance, so be brave and give it a try! You could soon be an expert at the hand jive, the Charleston and the cha-cha-cha..
By the time you reach your older years, you’ll likely have made so many fond memories throughout your life that you’ll find it difficult to remember them all! Scrapbooking is therefore a fantastic way for elderly people to spend a peaceful few hours looking back on all the good times.
All you need is a scrapbook, family photos and some glue, as well as any sequins, stickers or decorations you want to use. If you’re helping your elderly parent or grandparent to scrapbook, why not put on a favourite film or old music album to help them recall the memories - this is especially useful for those living with dementia and other related conditions.
Scrapbooking is also a good activity for young children or grandchildren to help out with too.
We hope this list of things old people like to do for fun has inspired you to get creative with your parent or grandparent.
Doing a different activity each day keeps life varied and fun - and try not to be limited in your activity choices. After all, as they say - life begins at 80.