What do old people like? People like you and me? And, our parents too?
We just can’t do everything anymore. Right?
There are so many fun and wonderful things for us to do now. And, sometimes we either forget about things that we like and always wanted to do, or, we just don’t know how many great things are out there for seniors and old people to enjoy.
As seniors, we look for a slower pace. A calmer social component now. So, let's take a look. What do old people like:
There are so many things we always wanted to do,
that we just didn’t have the time for before,
that we have time for now.
That we can do NOW.
What do old people like to do? Everything they can do. If they are just given the chance.
OK. We’re not all OLD. But, we’re not 20 anymore either. Right? Has your body been feeling you this for quite some years now
We’re going to be saying “old” in the article only as a distinction between where we are now and where we were 40, 50, or 60 years ago.
We’re going to answer the question "What Do Old People Like to Do?" with 26 Wonderful Fun Things that we, at 60, 70, 80, or even 90, CAN do and want to do now. Did you know there were so many? No, not everyone can do all of these. BUT, there are at least a few that even the oldest and most challenged senior citizens can do.
You know, earlier this month we talked about Video Games for Seniors and Video Games for OLD PEOPLE.
Almost immediately we received 416 emails from senior citizens all over the country who thanked us for turning them on to Video Games.
And, not just the games we already know how to play in the material world, like: hearts, scrabble, backgammon… But, the new spectacular 3D Adventure Games available on computer video. The ones their Grand Children want to play.
Most of those emails included a “thanks for turning us on to” these new 3D games. Why? Because their Grandkids now come over much more often to play these games with them. These seniors told us that was the best part of all.
Games can help do this. AND, there are so many to choose from.
And, there are so many other things we can enjoy.
What else do old people like?
We like being as normal as we ever were. Sharp. Present. Able to enjoy each day and all kinds of pleasures.
Games, classes, events, dancing, exercise classes, painting…. all can help like nothing else can. What old people like, is often what old people need.
Here some very interesting information about games:
Games: help to keep us sharp and aware in present time. Happy. Present. Independent.
Imagine being able to greet Mom or Dad everyday and have them smiling. And, knowing who they are and what they are saying. Even into very advanced Old Age.
Yes. This is happening more and more when old people play video games.
Just because we are older now doesn’t mean we don't like physical activities and that we can’t have fun with sports and dancing.
That’s right, Dancing! It’s my very favorite physical activity.
I’m a Tango Dancer. My friend Emily (88) does chair dancing because she can’t stand up.
Still, we both dance! And, you can too.
When we surveyed 100 senior citizens with the question: "What do old people like?", 88 said they did like, or, would like to be dancing again. 88%!
Just because we are becoming, or, have become old people, doesn’t mean we stop enjoying beautiful sights and sounds.
What do old people like? Art galleries, live concerts, or, even a local pub with live music are still as fun and as enjoyable as ever.
My friend Jack used to be a saxophone player. A darn good jazz musician too. He still goes to jazz clubs as far as 50 miles away to hear a band. Jack is 86 now.
What do old people like? Learning new and interesting things!
Remember when finding an hour to read was such a luxury?
Now, we have the time. And, it's not to late to learn anything. Books and the internet are everywhere.
Yes. Why shouldn’t we seniors, and elderly, and yes, old people, enjoy every possible thing we are able to? Right? Why not?
If we don’t do it now, when will we?
So, what do old people like? And, can still do?
Come take a look at these 26 Wonderful Fun Things us “Old People” have waiting for us. Maybe you can’t do them all. But, maybe this list will inspire you to do something, at least one thing, that’s new, exciting, and fun!
Card Games and Board Games.
You know: Hearts, Go Fish, Monopoly, Poker, Backgammon, Clue....
There are an absolute abundance of card games and board games that we seniors can play. The list is long.
What do old people like? Here are 20 of the most popular card games and board games: “Top 20 Sit Down Games for Seniors”
These games give seniors a reason to get together and enjoy not only the games, but, more important, each other’s company. We talk. We laugh. We have a great old time!
When picking a game, remember to pick the ones that the most challenged in the group can enjoy. If a member has some motor impairments or other challenges, like needing large print on the cards, etc…, make sure the game and the materials are designed for them also.
Yes. Too simple. Right?
But, when was the last time you actually went to a movie theater?
Remember how much fun it was going to the movies before everything became TV,? And, “the computer”?
I really think kids these days, with all their high tech electronics, are at a HUGE disadvantage sometimes.
We used to go to the movies! Laugh with friends. Steal a kiss, or, even make out in the back row. Have popcorn and candies and a sodas.
It’s still just as much fun.
Where we live, Tuesday Matinees are only $2!
Even if they are $6. TOTALLY worth it.
Go with a friend. Laugh. Take an adventure. Cry in a romance….
GET OUT of THE HOUSE!
Have some old fashioned fun!
If you are in my group: “The Worst Painters IN THE WORLD” this can be quite the challenge. And, more fun than you even ever imagined!
One thing I always wished was that I could paint pictures. I stuck with photography because I was so bad at painting.
Still, I decided to try watercolors. And, I am having a ball. I love watching how the paints move and blend with the paper and other colors. I’ve had hundreds of hours enjoying this pass time that I was too afraid to try before.
You, on the other hand, may have a real hidden talent here that you don’t even know about.
Remember Grandma Moses? She didn’t start painting until her late 70s! She was Amazing! And, became one of our most famous modern painters.
Bill Taylor (1853 - 1949) was a black man born into slavery. He didn’t even begin to start sketching until he was 85! Holy Cow! And, he produced over 1,000 works of art in his lifetime.
You may not be another Bill Taylor. But, I’ll bet you’re better than me!
Have you ever wanted to give it a try? Take a look at this Video:
What do old people like?
Remembering. And, sharing our great memories.
Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote the original “little House on the
Prairie” stories that Michael Landon Based the #1 TV show on, didn’t
start writing down her stories until she was 65.
Frank McCourt didn’t start writing until he was 66. He wrote “Angela’s Ashes” and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for this writing. It went on to be made into a film and made him very wealthy.
We’re not all going to write blockbusters like this. But, these two had no idea they were such great talents.
And, MOST IMPORTANT, good writing, to give something back into the world, almost always requires having lived. At least a good bit. You almost need to be a senior citizen to have that much to say that clearly.
And, it’s a joy to write. To solidify our thoughts and feelings on paper.
Have you always wanted to give it a try?
How about now?
Why does gardening become more wonderful with every passing year?
You don’t need a farm. Or, even a back yard to get started.
Next time you go to the grocery store, buy one little potted plat. Take it home. give it a little water each day. Watch it grow because of You! You’ll be hooked!
The next step: The magic of taking a seed, planting it, and, the enormous wonder and pride when it first puts up that tiny little unrecognizable little helpless shoot.
OMG! As thrilling as hearing your wife is pregnant for the first time!
Gardening is an art that I now believe God created specifically for seniors. Younger people (the wise ones) do it earlier.
If you have an outdoor garden patch, a yard full, or even just a handful of flower pots on your window sill, you will experience ALL The Magic!
If you have more room, and more desire. Great! There is no limit. And, there is no minimum.
You are only limited by your physical ability and desire. Which grows. As does your physical strength. And, Joy. Each year.
What do old people like? Gardening. Even just a bit.
This is definitely for the young and strong. Right? Not “what do old people like” kind of things.
You don’t have to climb mountains. Or, go on expeditions to Africa.
Far from it.
Do you know that when we surveyed: “What do old people like?”, walking outside, in nature, was in the top 3 of our responses.
Walk outside your front door. At the local park. If you have a woods near you, you are truly blessed.
You can walk just 20 or 30 feet into the woods and be in the most pristine Nature there is.
What do old people like? Doing the things they always wanted to do.
Did you ever fantasize about being an actor? Or, actress?
Why not now?
There are usually regular plays being put on in even the smallest towns in our country. And, there is so often a part for the grandfather or grandmother. The store owner. The business tycoon. Scrooge…
And, if you just want to be a part of the excitement of the theater, there is always a demand for those that make the show run: Lighting, Sound, Ticket Taker, Make Up Person, …
And, theater people are fun. Their energy is up and positive. A GREAT place for social interaction with fun people young and old.
Do old people like this kind of environment? I do! I’ve participated in quite a few. You can too!
What do old people like? Enjoying the world around them.
OK, forgive me, but I ALWAYS thought bird watching was a very weird thing to do.
2 years ago I bought a pair of binoculars….
I’m not a professional. I don’t save up all year to go to exotic places to see incredible rare birds.
I don’t even identify everything I see. I’m lazy… I just like looking at these little creatures in my trees.
But, for some people this is a true obsession! And, there are sooooo many beautiful birds!
I sit on my porch (weather permitting) and just watch these creatures. They are gorgeous! I love my Hawks especially! We have Bald Eagles here too. But the sparrows, tiny and plain, are one of my favorites too.
I sit with a cup of tea, and my binoculars and have some of the best summer mornings! I can’t even describe the pleasure.
This isn’t just a place for old people to sit down and die in. You can make some really wonderful connections with people just like yourself there. If the local one os too boring. Try another nearby town or city.
Many senior centers provide screenings and other important resources for us.
If you have specialized skills, you may be able to help other seniors and keep your skill set and passion sharp in the process.
What do old people like? Helping others.
This is one of the most rewarding things we have time for now. And, we have more experience, knowledge, compassion, and wisdom that any other human beings on the planet.
Yes. You are extremely valuable! Extremely!
We all know the enormous feeling of happiness we get when we help someone. Or, put a smile on their face. Or, just put some food on their plate.
Even if you only have 1 or 2 hours every week or two to volunteer, you can, and will, make a HUGE difference to more than one person’s life.
This is SUPER FUN!! Remember all the adventures as a kid? Learning how to do something new?
The excitement and joy never changes.
Personally, I learned some basic carpentry! I ALWAYS wanted to know how to build things CORRECTLY. My whole life.
But, we all had school, jobs, kids to take care of……
Now, what do old people like? Learning something new. It's sooooo EXCITING!
Maybe a sport. Like Golf? Dancing? (I started Tango at 58!). Baking? Cooking? A musical instrument? Acting? Gardening?…. Anything you feel strong enough to do,… try it!
You never know who you will meet. How many new friends you will make. Or, where it will take you.
Trying, and doing new things, is one of the best ways to keep old age far away!
Yeah! Be the oldest freshman in your class. Or, just take a class on anything you always wanted to.
That’s stupid. Right?
No. It’s fantastic!
When I was 21 I decided that “some day” I would learn to dance Argentine Tango. I began classes at Age 59! I am still dancing today at 69.
Is there something you always wanted to learn? A degree you always wanted to have, but didn’t have the time to go after.
You don’t need to start a new career. You need to do, and learn, all the things you ever wanted to do and learn that you never had the time or opportunity to do.
If not now, WHEN?
Go for it! It’s your life. Experience and learn everything you always wanted to.
What do old people like? Learning things they always wanted to learn.
You’re never too old to enjoy learning something new.
What do old people like? Some like a BIG new challenge.
Starting a new business can be a hard one because it’s a risk!
Want to write? Want a jewelry store? Want to sell ice cream in the summer in front of your house?
My Dad always wanted to have a road side farmer’s market.
He wanted to grow apples. Sell them on the side of the road. Sit in the shade and sell his apples. He talked about this from the time I was 10 until the time I was 41.
When he reached 60, I told him to go do it. But, he said, “Not yet.”
At 65, he said, “Emmmm. Maybe.”
At 70, I asked him when exactly he would do this? You know what he said?
OK son, TODAY!
I stared at him. He said, “Yes, today.” And, he went out and started digging up the yard.
He didn’t have an Apple farm (his passion). BUT, he had 1/2 acre to grow things. AND, grow vegetables he did!
He LOVED his garden. I helped him dig. In my whole entire life, I never before saw him smile so much. I noticed my Mom was happier also.
When that first Autumn came his stand was small. A single long table. He’d sit there, smoking his pipe and waited…. People stopped in front of our house…. At the end of the day, he always sold out everything!
I wish he had started 40 years ago.
Did he make a lot of money?
Was he happy?
Happier than I had ever seen him before in his life!
Did he sleep well? Like a baby!
What do old people like? For one thing: shopping. Just like everybody else.
Who doesn't like getting new stuff? Or, just going out and looking at all kinds of new things. Touching them. Playing with them in the store?
Shopping is also a GREAT socialization experience.
When you go with a friend, you walk together, talk, laugh… You don’t even need to buy anything. Just a wonderful day of “window shopping” with friend, or group of friends, is a great day out. And, window shopping is free!
Want to see what the latest fishing gear looks like? And, feels like? How about the fabric store to see what new and beautiful materials they have. We love to cook. So, Williams Sonoma is always a great day out for us.
Whatever your passion or pleasure, go see what’s new!
You can run a couple of light errands along the way and turn a small chore into a small pleasure!
How many of us seniors have said we will travel “when we retire”.
Our 100 seniors survey of "What Do Old People Like" had 91% say they liked traveling or they would like to travel.
If this is still a part of your plan, there are no more excuses. Get going!
If funds are a bit tight, you don’t have to travel 1st class to get all the pleasure from seeing a new place, or, a new country. There are many “senior tours” set up by travel companies and cruise ships that are especially for seniors. These tours usually have very affordable pricing. Especially of you are traveling on the off seasons.
PLUS, with a group, a senior tour group, you’ll have lots of company and a chance to make many new good friends.
Whether you’re traveling to another country on another continent, or, just to another state, traveling and see new places is always a joy!
If you have a group of friends who want to go somewhere together, be sure to tell your travel agent that you are looking for a “group rate”. You’ll be surprised how much you can save.
What do old people like? Traveling! For sure.
This is a particularly senior-friendly activity since browsing art is a very relaxed, easy going, social affair.
If you’re an art lover, there is no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
You get to have some very enjoyable exercise as you walk around and then possibly walk to a nearby coffee shop or restaurant for some refreshments and good conversation.
If you’ve never been to a gallery before, now is the time to try one out. A beautiful esthetic afternoon awaits! And, it can become delightfully habit forming.
What do old people like? Remember the 100 seniors survey we mentioned?
92% said they liked dancing, wished they could do it again. Or, wanted to try it.
We’re on my absolute personal favorite here. How many think you are too old to take up dancing?
Well, surprise! You’re never too old.
I always wanted to learn Argentine Tango. From the time I was about 21 years old. But, there was always an excuse…. At 58, I STARTED. Basic newbie beginner.
Now I dance 2 or 3 times a week!
In the beginning I was terrible. Awful. Dressed up nice, BUT, danced terribly.
I really didn’t care. I loved it from the very first day.
I’m also pretty good now (at 69 years of age).
Sure, you’re not going to become a ballet star at this point. But, there is Tango, Ballroom, even chair dancing for those whose legs are too weak to stand. There are even classes specifically for Elderly Dancing.
It’s just about moving to the music. To me there is nothing better. Nothing more freeing spiritually.
You don’t have to be good. Or, you may become a master. Who knows? The only point is to enjoy the music and let your body move.
As a bonus: Did you know that dancing (just moving any way you want to the music) is a great proven way to maintain and even increase mobility into older age?
And did you know that dancing is one of the best balance exercises there is?
And, MOST IMPORTANT: Dancing is FUN! Even if you think you have two left feet!
Elderly, and even some very old couples, often say dancing is one of their favorite things to do together. And, a lot of new friendships are formed when you go dancing. Or, take a dance class.
Here’s a Video of my friend Phyllis Sues dancing Tango with the famous Los Angeles teacher Marcos Questas when she was 92!
Phyllis Sues at Age 92:
What do old people like? Being able to touch our memories.
Senior women seem to gravitate to scrapbooking far more than men.
Scrapbooking is a wonderful way to document our lives. And, with all the new modern electronic gizmos these days, scrapbooking a almost a lost art.
But, what a pleasure it is for us to look through a hand made scrap book with real momentos and photos. Am I right? And, scrapbooks are a treasure for our future family generations to see, and then, pass down to each next generation.
Yes, computers are fast and fun and magnificent in their own right. But, touching and holding one of my Dad’s swimming medals from 1936, feeling my Granny’s lace hanky (handkerchief), or seeing an actual photo of my grandparents wedding is an experience that no computer or electronic image will ever match.
What do old people like?
Baking is FUN for both women and men.
Yes, MEN too! And, often, once men get the hang of it, you can’t get them out of the kitchen.
Baking is so soothing. It’s casual. Relaxed. Fun to do with the Grandkids… Then the whole house smells nice and you have something lovely to bring to social events. Or, just over to the TV for you and whomever might be handy to enjoy!
And, what about fresh baked bread? Is there anyone on the planet Earth who doesn’t love that? If you don’t have a lot of strength to knead bread, there are some really great inexpensive bread making machines out there.
Baking a batch of cookies on a rainy day can be so delightful!
Attending (not just watching them on the tube) sports events can be a real blast! And, they can be a great social occasion for us. Cheer our players on, boo at the opponents, tell the refs off, and eat the most delicious hot dogs in the world!
No matter what kind of sports you may like: Baseball, Football, Golf, Martial Arts, Gymnastics, Basketball, Soccer,… the chances are you can find some live games to go to. Even the local high school games are a lot of fun. Especially if it was the high school you used to attend.
And, invite a friend. Or take one or more of the Grandkids. Double the pleasure and the fun!
Museums never cease to fascinate me. I always find myself figuring out how old the artist were. How long they lived. I imagine what life was like then with no running water. Or telephones? What it felt like to wear those clothes. How the artists used to have to mix their own paint colors. Grinding the minerals and mixing them with the oils.
And, how the heck they could sculpt those absolute masterpieces with no power tools?
I also love the smell of museums. OK. Stop laughing at me….
And, there is almost always a discount for senior citizens!
What do old people like? Feeling GOOD!
Water aerobics are one of the most magnificent exercise programs for seniors and old people who are very out of shape, or, overweight.
The reason Water aerobics are so wonderful is that in the water, your joints are supporting less weight. The water is supporting a lot of your weight.
Movement is easier, lighter, freer. The water is refreshing. The exercises are refreshing. The entire experience is refreshing.
Water aerobics enable many seniors to get wonderful exercise that they may not otherwise be able to get. And, since Water Aerobics are usually in a class situation, you have many people to enjoy the experience with.
If exercise has always seemed like it’s too hard, or, just too much effort, Water Aerobics may be just right for you.
Here’s a Video to show you how it’s done:
What do old people like? Playing competitive sports. If they can.
Wii Sports is one of the greatest games available for old people because they can participate in a competitive sport with actual physical motions. But, it is not as strenuous as the real sport. It's still just as fun!
The sports are fun and playing them is exciting. Even if you’ve never played the sport before.
On Wii Sport there is baseball, tennis, bowling, golf, and boxing.
The game is manufactured by Nintendo. The newest version of Wii Sport is called “Switch”. On Switch you have all the original games plus more.
What do old people like?
Walking? Just walking?
Yes. Walking! But most old people never get a chance to do this with others because they don't know that they can. So, old people often just sit home and do nothing. Forget about that. Let's get together and walk!
Walking clubs are just wonderful for us seniors.
There are no new skills to learn. You meet up and walk with others of your own ability. And, you’re outside in the fresh air enjoying Nature and the company of others.
A true joy!
What do old people like? Yoga. More often then you may think. 31% of the seniors in our 100 survey said they like or would like to try Yoga,
Yoga Classes come in every level. From Very beginner to Very Advanced. AND, there are classes just for seniors. And, just for elderly and old people.
Private lesson are wonderful for first timers. Just to get to know your own limitations.
Yoga, properly taught, can benefit seniors of every age, including old people. Just the gentle movements, so slight, forward and back, side to side, gently twisting, give us a chance to move all of our parts. It’s so refreshing and energizing!
As seniors with normal movement, start with a very beginning senior class. Old people should seek classes specifically for the elderly or a private instructor who has training in working with the elderly.
Here’s a short Video of “Gentle Yoga for Seniors - with Ann (also a senior)”:
What do old people like? Being pampered. Just the same as everybody else of every age.
Even the oldest among us enjoys a soothing foot massage. It’s a slice of heaven! They bathe your feet in hot water first. Dry them off. Then massage your feet with soothing lotions and creams... H e a v e n l y!!
In larger cities there are very inexpensive massage establishments where you can get a nice 1 hour foot massage for only $20. A full body massage for $40.
A manicure for $10.
A mani-pedi (manicure for hands and feet) for $20.
Check with your local BBB (better business bureau) to make sure an establishment is reputable.
Go with a friend, not alone.
You can also get an in home massage. But, only invite a masseuse into your home who a very good long time friend knows well. AND, have someone (a younger strong family member or friend) there as a chaperone for the entire massage. Don’t invite strangers.
Your own Spa Days. Relax and indulge yourself. You’ve earned it.
What about seniors and very old people who live at assisted living facilities?
Assisted living, for the most part, no longer means being subjected to a rocking chair, TV, and Jello, with a weekly Bingo game.
No. No. No.
Most assisted living centers are beginning to see the value of activities that old people can participate in and have fun with. Any of the activities listed above, that an individual or group is capable of participating in, should be encouraged.
For those mobility issues, there are still many activities available and opportunities to learn something new.
It’s an important idea to check with the center to see what activities are available in the center before you enroll your loved one. If you don’t like what they offer, or not enough is offered, find another. There are many to choose from. And, many that have an abundance of things old people like to do.
What do old people like?
Pretty much everything. Right?
Some things we just no longer have the strength to enjoy. But, everything else that we can enjoy, we should enjoy. As often as possible.
We hope the suggestions we gave you above have inspired you to go and enjoy at least one more new thing! Or, something that you used to love doing.
Have a Wonderful and Magical NEW Adventure! ~ William, Fiona, and Charlotte