You’re a boomer — a baby boomer, that is — but just because you’ve accumulated a few years doesn’t mean you’re elderly. However, since you are getting older, you are at risk for developing elderly tendencies. For example, more than 20 percent of adults 65 and up suffer from some mental disease, most prominently dementia, and more than 80 percent of older adults suffer from a chronic health condition, which usually become harder to deal with as they age.
Luckily, since you are still a spry, young senior, you can combat the symptoms of elderliness by staying active in mind and body. While you probably can’t run a marathon (though don’t necessarily count yourself out) there are still plenty of enjoyable hobbies that will keep you healthy for years. Consider taking up the following activities to make your next few years the healthiest yet.
For every family who keeps meticulous family trees dating back to the Mayflower, there are 30 who can barely find pictures of their great-grandparents. If yours falls into the latter category, your senior years are the prime time to hit the library to dig up the dirt on your ancestors. Every family has interesting secrets, and you might just find that your great-great-grandmother was a heroine in a war, or your great-great-uncle was the first to patent the toaster.
There are a handful of psychological benefits to learning about your family history: You’ll practice your researching skills and keep your mind sharp with reading and comprehension. Additionally, you’ll be creating a history full of valuable stories and insight that your family can take pride in for generations to come.
If you’ve always been a bit of a wag, it’s likely you’ve dreamed of mounting the stage at some point — and there’s no point like the present. While you might not be trained enough for there are plenty of community theaters interested in using your natural talents. If you’d rather act with people your own age, active senior centers encourage community events; there’s an excellent center for assisted living in Terre Haute, IN.
Baking and cooking is one thing — almost anyone can follow a recipe — but experimenting with ingredients and crafting recipes on your own is quite another. Your later years are the perfect time to take your experience in the kitchen and direct it toward creating new and exciting foods and beverages. You may already have the most requested chocolate chip cookies in the neighborhood, but with some training and practice, you’ll be able to write your own cookbook that your friends and family can use for decades.
If you like to read, there’s no doubt you’re still devouring a book a week, even in your later years. However, readers of any age benefit from discussing what they’ve read with others. Many readers experienced this during their studies in high school or university, but unless you plan on going back to school — which in fact is a remarkably good way to maintain mental acuity — it can be difficult to happen upon people who have read the same stories you have.
Instead, forming a book club within your community assures a group of friends with whom you can discuss certain works. You can give your club a theme — Great Books is a common one — or simply take suggestions from the group. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, but reading is actually a community activity, and good books thrive on discussion.
Arts and Crafts
It sounds hokey, but doing something creative with your hands is a rewarding and challenging way to keep your health up. Luckily, there are many different arts and crafts to choose from, so if jewelry making isn’t your thing, you can try taking up ceramics. These hobbies are generally pretty simple to start, but to refine your skill you’ll need intense dedication. Plus, many of them allow you to multitask; you can quilt and watch your favorite soap opera at the same time, or you can take your knitting supplies with you to brunch.