What are the most popular hobbies for older people?

At Barchester, we strive to make life as stimulating and interesting as possible and ensure our residents live happy and fulfilled lives at our care homes. We’re confident we can help every individual make the most out of their experiences living in assisted care accommodation. Participation in meaningful activities makes up the most important part of every day at Barchester. So we have put together a list of some popular hobbies for older people that offer mental and physical stimulation, and feelings of purpose and self-worth.

Learning something new

71 percent of over 60s spend their time tackling new challenges. Many people want to pick up some of the life skills that they couldn’t find time for in their working days. Some people like to learn a new language or play a musical instrument, whereas many prefer reading or going out on trips to local attractions.

Staying active

Remaining active becomes more important as we get older and is key to staying healthy and maintaining independence. Exercise can be as simple as walking but many over 60s are finding enjoyment in other activities. Swimming, golfing, cycling and yoga are all popular with over 60s and offer low impact exercise and a chance to participate as an individual or as part of a group.

How about a spot of gardening

For 50% of over 60s, gardening is a very popular hobby. It is very much accessible to everybody and it encourages discussion and companionship. At Barchester, we enjoy gardening so much that, in 2005, we started up the Barchester in Bloom Competition, with celebrity Gardener Charlie Dimmock. 

Getting creative

It isn’t solely new skills that are desired by older people. The over 50s enjoy a wide variety of more creative hobbies. Knitting and needlework, making jewellery, painting and drawing, writing, photography, paper craft - the list goes on. DIY is also a very popular pastime in the form of wood and metal working. Here at Barchester, we support our residents with all sorts of creative activities, from arts and crafts to baking.

Staying social

Staying social is one of the most important part of any hobby, and an important part of daily life. Participating in group activities such as quiz and game nights is a popular way for older people to have fun and have a good natter


It is also very popular for older people to get involved with local charities and volunteering groups. Whether it is to feel like they are giving back to the community or simply as an activity to replace work, volunteering is a productive hobby that is good for you and the community.

How do we help at Barchester?

At Barchester, we are committed to ensuring the best possible quality of life for all of our residents. This includes making sure everyone is participating and involved in the activities that they are interested in and enjoy. We provide many activities to the residents that we care for and support, including clubs, games, exercise, therapy, and days out.