How to Find a Hobby for Your Elderly Parents: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re looking for ways to keep your elderly parents engaged and active, finding a new hobby could be just the thing.

Three Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hobby For Your Elderly Parents

1. Physical Limitations

Some hobbies may require more physical activity than others, and it’s important to choose one that fits their abilities.

For example, gardening can be a great hobby for seniors who enjoy being outdoors and getting their hands dirty, but it may not be suitable for those with mobility issues.

Here are some hobbies that are generally low-impact and can be enjoyed by seniors with physical limitations:

Painting or drawingKnitting or crocheting
Reading or writingPlaying board games or puzzles
Watching movies or TV showsListening to music or podcasts

2. Interests and Passions

When choosing a hobby for your elderly parents, it’s important to consider their interests and passions.

What activities brought them joy in their youth?

Which hobbies have they always been interested in but never had the opportunity to pursue?

Here are some hobbies that may align with your elderly parents’ interests and passions:

3. Schedule and Availability

Some hobbies may require more time and commitment than others, and it’s important to choose one that fits their lifestyle.

Here are some hobbies that can be enjoyed on a flexible schedule:

Yoga or meditationWalking or hiking
Volunteering or charity workWriting or journaling
Collecting items or memorabiliaPlaying casual games on a tablet or smartphone

By taking into account your elderly parents’ physical limitations, interests and passions, and schedule and availability, you can help them find the right hobby that they’ll enjoy and benefit from. Independent research can also help you find the perfect hobby for your elderly parents.

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Four Indoor Hobbies for Seniors

1. Crafting

Quilting, crocheting, and knitting are all popular crafting hobbies that seniors can enjoy.

Not only do these hobbies provide a sense of accomplishment, but they can also be relaxing and meditative.

2. Reading and Writing

If your parent enjoys reading, joining a book club or starting a journal can be a great way to stay engaged with literature.

Writing is also a great indoor hobby for seniors.

Whether they want to write poetry, memoirs, or fiction, writing can be a therapeutic and rewarding activity.

3. Games and Puzzles

Card games and board games are great indoor hobbies for seniors.

These hobbies enable seniors to engage in social activities and mental stimulation.

Additionally, jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, and crossword puzzles are popular pastimes for seniors who enjoy a mental challenge.

4. Music and Performing Arts

Playing an instrument like piano, guitar, or ukulele can be a fun and rewarding hobby for seniors.

Podcasts and audiobooks are also great options for seniors who want to stay engaged with the performing arts.

For seniors who enjoy acting or poetry, joining a local theater or poetry group can be a great way to stay engaged with the arts.

QuiltingCreating a quilt by sewing pieces of fabric together.
CrochetingCreating fabric by interlocking loops of yarn with a hooked needle.
KnittingCreating fabric by interlocking loops of yarn with two or more needles.
JournalingWriting down thoughts and feelings in a personal journal.
Card gamesPlaying games with a deck of cards, such as poker or bridge.
Board gamesPlaying games on a board, such as chess or Scrabble.
Jigsaw puzzlesPutting together a picture from small interlocking pieces.
SudokuA number puzzle that requires logic to solve.
PianoA musical instrument that is played by pressing keys.
GuitarA musical instrument that is played by strumming or plucking strings.
UkuleleA small, four-stringed musical instrument that is played by strumming.
PodcastsAudio programs that can be downloaded and listened to on a computer or mobile device.
ActingPerforming in plays or other theatrical productions.
PoetryWriting or reciting poems.

Three Outdoor Hobbies for Seniors

1. Gardening and Nature

Whether your parents want to grow flowers or vegetables, they can enjoy the satisfaction of watching something grow from a tiny seed to a beautiful plant.

If they don’t have a yard or space for a garden, they can try container gardening on a balcony or patio.

Nature walks and bird watching are also great ways to enjoy the outdoors.

Your parents can explore local parks and nature preserves, and they might even spot some interesting wildlife along the way.

Encourage them to bring a camera or binoculars to get a closer look.

2. Physical Activity

Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints, making it a great option for seniors.

Community centers and gyms often provide water aerobics classes tailored to the needs of older adults.

Hiking is another excellent form of exercise that allows you to appreciate the natural world.

Ensure that you select a trail that is suitable for your parents’ physical condition.

3. Sports and Games

Golfing is a popular hobby among seniors because it provides a fun and social way to stay active.

Many golf courses offer senior discounts and special events for older players.

Bowling is another fun activity that can be enjoyed year-round, and it’s a great way to stay active and socialize with friends.

Chess and tai chi are indoor hobbies that can be enjoyed in any weather, and they provide mental and physical benefits.

GardeningGrowing flowers or vegetables
Nature walksExploring local parks and nature preserves
Bird watchingSpotting interesting wildlife
SwimmingLow-impact exercise that is easy on the joints
HikingEnjoying the beauty of nature
GolfingFun and social way to stay active
BowlingFun activity that can be enjoyed year-round
ChessMental exercise that can be enjoyed indoors
Tai chiPhysical and mental benefits

Three Group Activities for Seniors

Group activities can be a great way for your elderly parents to socialize and stay active. Here are a few group activities your parents might enjoy:

1. Volunteering and Citizen Science

Seniors can contribute to their community and keep themselves active by volunteering.

Countless organizations, including hospitals, libraries, and animal shelters, are continuously seeking volunteers.

Your parents could also consider participating in citizen science projects, such as bird-watching or monitoring water quality.

These activities can be a fun way to learn about the environment and contribute to scientific research.

2. Book Clubs and Writing Groups

If your parents enjoy reading or writing, they might enjoy joining a book club or writing group.

These groups can provide a social outlet and a chance to discuss books or share writing with others.

Many libraries and community centers offer book clubs and writing groups for seniors.

3. Art and Crafting Classes

Art and crafting classes can be a great way for your parents to stay creative and learn new skills.

Numerous community centers and art studios provide courses in a variety of crafts such as ceramics, calligraphy, origami, pottery, and more.

These classes offer an enjoyable opportunity to socialize with others and produce aesthetically pleasing creations.

CeramicsYou can learn how to make pottery and ceramics by utilizing either a pottery wheel or hand-building techniques.
CalligraphyLearn the art of beautiful handwriting using a variety of calligraphy tools and techniques.
OrigamiLearn to fold paper into intricate shapes and designs.

Motivate your parents to experiment with various group activities until they discover one that they genuinely appreciate.

These activities can grant them a feeling of direction and gratification, and also enhance their physical and mental well-being.


Discovering a hobby that suits your elderly parents can be a fulfilling endeavor for both you and them.

This can lead to increased joy and a feeling of meaning in their daily routine, as well as the chance to engage in social events and group activities.