Activities for Seniors to Indulge in After Retirement

Activities for Seniors to Indulge in After Retirement

According to the Social Security Administration, there are at least 46.3 million retired people in the US. Or about 14% of the population. The average retirement age is 65 for men and 63 for women, though there are many regional, racial and socioeconomic differences in those numbers. The point is, with Baby Boomers continuing to reach retirement age; there are a lot of people in the US who need something to do.

Most seniors want to remain physically active; while spending more time with family and friends than they were able to during their working years. Most want opportunities for socialization, especially ones that are affordable because they are no longer working full time and thus unsure of their financial situation.

And as they retire, many older adults are starting to think about getting some help around the house. Some seniors have a plan for what they want to do when they retire. But many others don’t, and that’s okay! Retirement is all about having the freedom to make choices for yourself.

 Retirement Activities that Help Seniors Stay Active

Many seniors report that taking an exercise class is a great way to stay active while still having opportunities for social interaction. Ok, maybe you aren’t the most athletic person (and besides you’ve spent the last 50 years meeting the physical demands of working) so you aren’t about to take up jogging or powerlifting.

But many local senior centers offer classes like tai chi or aquatic exercise. Another way seniors keep active is yoga, and there are many classes that are geared towards avoiding or alleviating the aches and pains seniors may have.

In addition, there are senior leagues for softball in the summer and volleyball in the winter. And if team sports aren’t your thing, an extremely popular activity in recent years is pickleball, a derivative of tennis played on a smaller court. It’s attractive to seniors because it goes at a slower pace than tennis, and there’s less ground to cover, but it still offers the same competitive aspect. And if you were a tennis player when you were younger, the skills transfer over easily.

Give Lifelong Learning a Try

Community colleges devote a large portion of their courses to lifelong learning. Whether you’ve always wanted to learn French, or you’d like to brush up on your art skills, there are a lot of ways you can continue your learning journey in retirement.

They can help you learn how to use your computer better, write poetry, or cook Scandinavian food. But don’t forget, you have experience to offer as well, and many community colleges are facing a shortage of people to teach. So why not offer to share your expertise? It’s likely that you can participate on an occasional basis or serve as a guest lecturer, so you won’t need to do some of the hard work of teaching like writing lesson plans, but you can still share your knowledge.

A Counterintuitive Retirement Activity: Get a Job

We can hear you asking — I just retired, why would I get a job? Many seniors miss the social interactions of working, and besides, we’re not suggesting you become the CEO of Merrill Lynch here, just get something part time that will get you out of the house, provide a little extra spending money, and keep you active. And, no, you don’t need to become a greeter at the big-box store or flip burgers, you get to pick something you like doing, because there’s no pressure to make a career out of it. Are you a golfer?

Apply to work a few days a week as the starter. Or help out checking people in at the pro shop. Most golf courses need several people to do these jobs over the course of the season, and as a side benefit you’ll probably get to play for free as well. Are your grandkids in school near you? You could work a few hours a day as a crossing guard or teacher’s aide in their school. You can also be an occasional consultant in whatever your previous field was.

Give Your Time

When you were in the working world, you may not have had enough time to give to causes you thought were worthwhile. Now, however, you’ve got plenty of time and experience to share. Volunteering is a rewarding way to spend your days, and may lead to social activities with your fellow volunteers. Here are a few suggestions for places to donate your time:

  • Animal shelters. Taking care of the animals is a full-time job, and most shelters rely on volunteers to do it. Everything from taking animals to veterinarian appointments to taking the dogs for walks can help these shelters out a lot.
  • Charities that need specific skills. Are you handy around the house? Habitat for Humanity volunteers build homes for people who need them. Do you play the piano? Many YMCAs, churches and other community centers offer lessons to kids who can’t afford them. Did you do taxes for a living? The AARP and IRS both offer free tax preparation services for seniors, and they rely on volunteers to do the work.
  • Sign up for a political campaign. Whatever side of the political aisle you fall on; chances are the leaders you support rely on campaign volunteers to help them get and stay in office. From the White House to your local school board, people who run for office need volunteers to get the word out. And with modern campaigns, you may not even need to go anywhere. You can make calls, send texts, and write postcards from your own home.

Additionally, there’s a good chance your local house of worship needs volunteers to set up the annual rummage sale, or the local hospital needs someone to point folks in the right direction at the door. It’s a great way to stay busy and meet people.

 Get Out of Town

One of the main things that seniors who have recently retired say they want to do is to travel. But travel can be expensive, and you may not feel comfortable being in a country where you don’t speak the language. Not to mention the thought of a cruise, after COVID, makes your skin crawl. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck at home. Many seniors have had great travel experiences by exploring the US National Parks system. You can buy a Senior Lifetime Pass, and admission at National Parks is free for veterans and Gold Star Families. There are over 400 National Parks, and they cover every state and territory in the US. Of course, if going in luxury is in the cards for you, there are plenty of companies that specialize in European tours for seniors. These tours are designed to operate at a senior-friendly pace, and are a great way to learn more about the history and culture of your destination.

Activities Without Obligations

Not everyone wants to commit to a 6-month long senior basketball league or sign up for a semester long class. Sometimes you just want something to do on a particular Tuesday. That’s where your local senior center or YMCA comes in. On any given day, they’re likely to have drop-in classes, movie nights, or impromptu pickleball tournaments. You can usually find a monthly or quarterly schedule at the front desk or on their website. Most activities are free or low cost, and best of all, they usually don’t require a long commitment. In addition, your local library has events for the community also; from financial planning to book clubs to free movie days.

When You Get Back Home, Get Help at Home

With all these choices for activities, you’re likely to be exhausted. Meaning you may have trouble keeping up around the house. Having an in-home caregiver come in to help with basic activities including: housekeeping, laundry, and meal preparation can go a long way. To making sure you’re doing the things you want to do rather than just settling for the things you have to do. An at-home caregiver can even provide help once you’ve started to struggle with everyday tasks like bathing and dressing.

Home Care Powered by AUAF can Keep You Indulging in Retirement Activities

Having the right home care agency can make all the difference. The dedicated staff and caregivers at Home Care Powered by AUAF will help you get the at-home care you need in order to keep you active and healthy. We work with you to make sure you get the highest standard of care. Ready to find out more?  Call us at (773) 274-9262 or contact us.

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