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Why photography is a great hobby for older people

30th July 2019

There are many great hobbies out there that you are never too late to take up your older years. From gardening and craft to baking and painting, it is important that older people have hobbies and interests in order to stave off boredom and loneliness, support brain function and improve health and happiness.

In this article, we look at why photography makes a great hobby for older people. From the irrefutable cognitive benefits to enhancing your social life, read on to find out the many benefits of taking up photography.

Why are hobbies important for older people?

We spoke to Deborah Stone at Mature Thinking and asked for her thoughts on why people should take up hobbies in their older age.

“Getting older can dramatically change someone’s lifestyle,” says Deborah. “Older people are likely to have a lot more time on their hands and far less structure to their day. Their sense of purpose may have been affected by retirement or by a partner dying, so hobbies can provide a renewed purpose.

“As we get older, we naturally lose brain cells and the messages which travel between neurons are slower. This means we have to support our brains with a healthy lifestyle.”

Deborah says that physical exercise is great for maintaining and improving the health of older people, but it’s also important to ‘exercise’ the mind too.

“Exercising is great for older people as it boosts the amount of oxygen to the brain, and over time, it can improve your reaction speed and memory. But it’s also vital to keep using your brain every day and challenging yourself – good conversation, crossword puzzles, learning a language, playing Scrabble and taking up a new hobby are all great ways of giving your brain a workout.”

Why photography is a great hobby for older people

It gives overall health and happiness a boost

We spoke to landscape and travel photographer, Kim Stone, at Kistography about the benefits of photography for older people.

She told us how photography is great for maintaining your general wellbeing: “It is well known that having a creative hobby has many benefits to your psychological and physical wellbeing, and I feel it’s definitely helped my overall wellbeing.

“Photography is a great hobby for older people to undertake for a number of reasons. Not only can it improve cognitive function, but also physical health and happiness. It has been widely documented that immersing in a creative activity lowers the stress hormone level. When I am having a difficult day I often turn to photography to unwind.”

It’s a great form of exercise

As well as being able to reduce stress and improve cognitive function, photography is also a good form of exercise, says Kim. Whether you are in good physical shape or require mobility aids like stairlifts, photography is a great way to get moving and give your fitness levels a boost.

“The physical benefits of photography are numerous - whether that be carrying the camera equipment, walking outside on different terrains and exploring a variety of locations. I often walk miles trying to find the right shot, carrying my kit on my back.”

There are unlimited avenues to explore

Not only is the act of snapping photos great for your health and happiness, but there are always opportunities to take your photography skills to the next level by undertaking new challenges and playing around with a different photography style – all of which can improve a person’s confidence and sense of accomplishment.

“You never stop learning with photography as there’s always a new technique to try,” says Kim. “Not only this, learning the challenging technical skills involved in photography can help improve cognitive vitality and keep the ageing mind healthy.”

It can open up your social life

Although many people may prefer to keep their photography to themselves or only show their work to friends and family, Kim says it has a fantastic social aspect: “Photography is often a social hobby with camera clubs, social groups and many communities online or on social media channels.”

With 1.2 million older people considered chronically lonely in the UK, being able to share your hobby with like-minded people and build long-lasting friendships is a great reason to get snapping.

It’s easy to get started

The best part about photography is that pretty much anyone can get started right away, and you don’t need the latest, most expensive equipment, either.

“All that someone needs to get started with photography is a camera,” says Kim. “The skill is in the person behind the camera being able to compose the shot. Most mobile phones have great cameras built-in and this is all that is needed to start photography as a hobby.”

If you’re looking to buy a professional camera, Kim has some great suggestions on which cameras are good for beginners.

“If someone wants more than a phone camera, there is a broad range of hobby cameras available, from small pocket-sized compact (‘point and shoot’) cameras through to DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras.

“If you’re still unsure about what to look for, camera shops are usually happy to talk through different cameras and let you try them before you buy.”

Whether you fancy snapping the odd picture on your smartphone or want to invest in professional photography equipment, one thing is for sure: the benefits of photography are endless, and you’ll be left with stunning photographs to cherish forever and share with friends and family.

Why photography is a great hobby for older people:

  • It gives overall health and happiness a boost
  • It’s a great form of exercise
  • There are unlimited avenues to explore
  • It can open up your social life
  • It’s easy to get started

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This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only and are up to date as of the time of publishing