While we all dream of retirement in our working days, nothing quite prepares us for daily life as a retiree. Budgeting, care costs and inheritance tax are growing concerns – but none are more pressing than how you’ll occupy your time. Loneliness is common in seniors, with over 1.4 million older people in the UK reporting they often feel lonely. With all this in mind, here’s a list of some great social activities for elderly annexe owners to help keep you entertained…
Dinner Parties for the Whole Family
If you’re looking for a good excuse to gather friends and family round the table, why not host a dinner party? Weekly lunch clubs at the local community centre are all well and good, but – if you’re wanting to socialise from the comfort of your own home, there’s nothing better than a group meal. What’s more, cooking the food yourself is a great way to stimulate the senses.
Diet becomes increasingly important in later life. One of the many perks of downsizing to an annexe in retirement is that it allows us to devote more time to the activities we love. Even if cooking felt like a chore in the past, now you can focus your energy on enjoying the process and expanding your skills. Plus, you get a delicious meal at the end… Talk about a win-win.
Whether it’s a layout from our standard range or a fully-custom build, all our annexes benefit from quality kitchen spaces. With energy-efficient LED lighting, a range of different cabinet finishes and various other modern features, they’re the perfect space to cook with the family.
Creative Activities to Improve Mental Health
After a lifetime of hard graft, retirement presents a chance for elderly people to explore more artistic pursuits. Creative activities – such as singing, knitting or playing a musical instrument, can improve hand-eye coordination, reduce boredom and bolster concentration. Even if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body, the benefits of picking up a new hobby makes it all worthwhile. Now you’ve got the chance to explore, it’s time to let your creative juices flow…
Many older adults can easily recall the lyrics to popular songs from their youth. As such, you can get creative by reliving the past. Invite friends round for a good old-fashioned sing-along, and revel in the joys of days gone by. Music is a fantastic memory tool, and especially useful for curbing symptoms of Dementia. In this sense, dancing with friends can also help improve cognitive function. While you might not be as light on your feet as you once were, sticking on some music for a slow-moving waltz is still a great way to get yourself up and moving.
The Art of Crafts
Aside from this, you could also turn your hand to some arts and crafts. The options here are endless – from painting and sketching, to knitting, felting or cross stitch. While these activities are easily-done when flying solo, it’s more fun to get loved ones in on the action. Make some creative gifts for the family, knit a few scarves for winter, or just play around with some paint. No matter which artistic avenue you’re exploring, it’s guaranteed to help stimulate your mind.
Looking for inspiration? Age UK has a list of online art classes geared towards the elderly…
Puzzles, Board Games and Cards
Gather around the table in your spacious annexe living room, pick out a board game – and let the fun commence. Whether it’s a game of Scrabble with the family or a round of Bridge against an old friend, who doesn’t love a bit of friendly competition? Cards and board games are perfect for seniors as they provide a social activity that is intellectually stimulating, but not too physically demanding. They also keep the mind sharp and improve brain function.
Looking for other fun activities to do at the table? You could always dust off a jigsaw puzzle. They challenge your problem-solving skills, keep your mind active – and are a great way to unwind. What’s more, puzzles can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Without any complex rules to figure out or follow, a jigsaw is the perfect excuse to bring the whole family together.
Group Exercise in the Garden
Most elderly people downsize to an annexe due to concerns surrounding their overall health and well-being. As we get older, our mobility gradually declines – making it harder and harder for us to lead an active lifestyle. While it is often difficult to find the motivation to go it alone, creating your own little exercise class with family members and old friends makes it easier.
Group exercises – such as yoga, pilates and tai chi, are fun and social ways to help improve flexibility and balance. Since our joints and muscles tend to seize up as we age, movement remains the best way to maintain function in later life. Even if you struggle with getting out of your chair, there are plenty of online exercise classes geared towards those with less ability.
Exercise your Green Thumb
Another excellent way of staying active in later life is gardening. Getting out and about in the great outdoors does the body wonders. Not only does it improve mental health, but – with all the digging, weeding and various other manual jobs involved, it’s also a great workout. Get the grandkids involved to make it a social activity, or – if you’re looking to expand your circle of friends, it’s always worth checking if there are any gardening clubs in your local area too.
Plan for Retirement with iHus
We’ve got more than 30 years experience constructing personalised and bespoke annexes to suit our clients needs. At iHus, we believe that your golden years are some of the most important – so we’re passionate about helping people make solid plans for their retirement.
We’ve been there, done that with over 500 annexe constructions. From planning permission to solar panels, we’re proud to say we offer it all. Get in touch with our team to learn more…