What to do with your spare time in your Golden Years

If you are anything like my  Nana then it’s really important to retain your mobility and independence as you get older. My own Nana never stops, she’s constantly on the go and she even manages to keep up with Little Legs (even if she does require an early night after it)

Since retirement she has been full of life and has taken up so many new hobbies so I asked her what kind of things are there to do now that she is a lady of leisure. Here are my Nan’s top tips for keeping busy and mobile when you reach your golden years.


dancing

Dancing

Honestly this is my Nana’s favourite hobby, twice a week she meets with her friends to go ballroom dancing. They have the occasional Ball and other fancy events and now attend dancing weekends away together. They can give Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers a run for their money. Even when there are times when she doesn’t quite feel up to dancing, she still goes, she’ll watch the others and have a drink or two (we know she’s quite partial to a Cherry Brandy or glass of Liebfraumilch) Its certainly a great way to keep active and also socialise at the same time.

Painting

Our senior citizens centre offered free arts classes to the over 60’s, it’s always best to see what’s on in your local area. This creative outlet will certainly help you relax

Keeping up to date with technology

Check with your local libraries about IT courses, our local library offered a free 6 month IT course for pensioners which helped my Nana pick up some IT skills, now she can keep in touch with family and friends all over the world (with minimal help)

Gardening

My Nana and her partner love spending time down at the allotments tending to their home grown fruits and vegetables. We’re also lucky in that our local Church runs a community garden where everybody is encouraged to go and help out. For the green fingered bunch its such a relaxing way to spend time, especially in the summer months.

Tai Chi

Again, our local senior centre offered Tai chi classes. It was something that my Nana loved and has continued to do it since. It’s very low impact but helps a great deal with mobility and to strengthen joints. We also discovered that it helped reduce my Nanas high blood pressure

Take a look at your Local Age Uk or even check out their website to see what’s on around you, they often have a list of dance and cookery classes available as well as useful contact numbers.

Not everything has to be so physical though, the gardening, painting and making use of the world wide web are great ways to spend your time with little effort. I had the opportunity to speak with a group of lovely older ladies, it was interesting to hear how different everybodies lifestyles were. Some were incredibly active like my Nana but others had felt trapped, one lady even told me that she is now confined to the ground floor of her house as she was unable to use the stairs, this rang a bell with me as we had previously experienced something similar with the Mr’s Grandmother. Others have had to leave their homes to properties which are more suitable but I did discover that many have been able to adapt their homes.

There are many tools and aids readily available to help adapt homes to your needs. Something as simple as a stair lift can make such a huge difference. Contrary to popular belief, the running costs of a stair lift will not bankrupt you and you may be able to get help with the cost of installation by funding from your local council or disability grants.

There may also be help with funding and financial support for the adaptation of your home to help those achieve independence around the home and making those tasks easier. A social services department will be able to asses your needs.