How To Keep Retired Parents Busy: 12 Simple Ways

Your retired parents struggle with staying busy and you would like to help them out. And that is why you are wondering How Do I Keep My Retired Parents Busy?

You keep your retired parents busy by helping them discover new hobbies and find enjoyable physical, mental, and social activities. This combination will not only help your parents to stay busy, but it also contributes to a happy and healthy retirement. And when they’ve found something they’re passionate about, they will stay motivated to keep busy effortlessly.

In this article, I’ve listed simple 12 ways to keep your retired parents busy. Let’s dig in!

Just a heads up, this post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Purchases you make through these links may earn us a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

1) Apply For Classes

You want your parents to thrive in retirement. It’s what they worked hard for all their lives and what they deserve. And the key to a successful retirement is to keep learning new things because learning new things keeps the mind engaged and the body active. Which contributes to a healthy and happier life in retirement.

One of the best ways for your parents to stay busy in retirement is to apply them for classes. And before you freak out and ask yourself to what kind of classes do I need to apply them for? No worries you just have to apply them for one: Masterclass.


It’s a streaming platform that makes it possible for anyone to watch or listen to hundreds of video lessons taught by the most successful and famous teachers in the world.

Masterclass has over 100 different classes available in all sorts of categories: from arts, science to business and cooking. From Ron Finley teaches Gardening, Gordon Ramsay teaches Cooking, Alicia Keys teaches Songwriting to Kelly Wearstler teaches Interior Designing and so many more. Your parents get access to all of them when you sign up for an Annual Membership.

Your parents can learn from the world’s best at their own pace, anytime, anywhere, and on any device. If they know how to use Netflix, then you don’t need to worry. Masterclass is just as easy to use. Curious?

2) Motivate To Exercise

Exercising is as we all know the most important thing for healthy aging. Also, after being physically active you have more energy for whatever comes next that day.

When you can get your parents to exercise in the morning you instantly help them to be busier during the rest of the day. A morning work-out routine will give them a boost in energy and self-esteem and they’ll continue to have this mindset the rest of the day and stay busy. But what kind of exercises are good for your retired parents?

The CDC’s advice for 65+-year-olds is to do at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. This means 20-25 minutes of exercising per day, which sounds easy to do, right? They can go for a walk every morning, or leave the car behind and go grocery shopping with their bicycle. You can gift them outdoor hiking shoes as a sign of support and motivation to exercise more.

There all sorts of creative ways to do physical exercises every day without even noticing it. But if you want to encourage them in something more I’ve got a couple of tips for you below.


A great safe and simple exercise for your retired parents is rebounding. Is nothing more and nothing less than jumping up and down on a mini-trampoline with a safety bar for extra support. It’s has become extremely popular amongst retirees, because it’s a great low-impact form of workout and it is fun too. The rebounder below comes with a workout routine.

The USA #1 Voted Indoor Exercise Mini Trampoline For Adults

On-Demand Fitness App

You can download the no.1 Fitness App Aaptiv for your parents. They’ll get access to more than 1000 different audio and video workouts and get the guidance of a certified expert trainer on demand. From Yoga to Total Body Training there’s a class for every interest and fitness level. You can start a free trial for 7 days for your parents here.

3) Find A Hobby

Having something fun to do makes your retirement much more enjoyable. But it’s sometimes hard to know what you like to do when you’ve been focused on your career the last couple of decades. All your time and energy have been on achieving the life goal: retirement. And now that you’re parents are retired they perhaps don’t know what they enjoy anymore. They forgot.

And you can help them out rediscovering their interests and likes and dislikes. A great way for them to explore all sorts of activities and see what they like and don’t like at the comforts of their own home is with a Membership to Masterclass, as I mentioned earlier in this article. With access to all sorts of classes on this streaming platform, they can experience what interests they have and rediscover old hobbies, and learn about new ones along the way.


Craftsman Crate

Also, another way to help them stay busy in retirement is getting a monthly subscription box from Cratejoy. They have all sorts of fun boxes that can help your parents stay busy in retirement. Check out the Craftsman Crate with every month new hands-on projects to learn new skills here.

4) Build A Family Tree

Now that they have more time to reflect many retirees love to get more answers from their past. And want to know more about the family history. A lot of retiree like to build a family tree, or create a family history book to pass on to the next generation as a gift.

Building a family tree is a lot of work but you can help your parents out by gifting them a My Heritage DNA Kit. It gives them the chance to discover relatives who share DNA segments, inherited from the same common ancestor. It will help them out find answers about their past and create their family tree in a more thorough way.

5) Encourage To Socialize

Social interactions are extremely important for our health and happiness. Did you know that loneliness has the same impact on your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day?

That’s why it’s important to stay socially active in retirement. But when you retire you lose your daily routines, a purpose, and your daily social interactions from work. Actively seeking new social interactions is key to finding happiness in retirement. And for you all the more reason to encourage your parents to socialize in retirement.

Socializing for your parents can be face-timing a friend, going over for tea at their next-door neighbor, or babysitting their grandchildren. There all sorts of ways in which you can help out your parents to be more social. If they don’t know how to use video calling you can learn them. Or you can invite them over for lunch or dinner more often. Or if they’re looking for a buddy to travel with you can find their match on Seniortravelbuddy.

Do you have a single retired parent? Then you can check out eHarmony. The leading dating site for seniors who are looking for a serious relationship. You can test it out for free and see if you can find their perfect match.

6) Find A Club

A great way to keep your parents busy is to find a club. This can be a seniors club at their local community center, a sports club, or another club that shares the same interest as your parents. This can be a cooking club, book club, art club, church club, or gardening club.

An there is an easy way to find local communities of people with the same interest. You can check out is the website Meetup. It’s a platform where you can find and build new local communities. You can use it to meet new people, learn new things, and find support with like-minded people.

7) Motivate To Volunteer

A lot of retirees love to do volunteer work because it has many benefits. It gives them a new purpose in life. Helping others makes you instantly feel better about yourself and it makes you feel happy and fulfilled.

A new environment also gives inspiration, fresh energy, and interacting with the younger generation keeps your parents young at heart. With volunteer work, they can stay active in every way: socially, mentally, and physically. Which is the key to finding happiness in retirement.

But what are great volunteer jobs and where to find them? Below I’ve listed a couple of volunteer jobs and organizations. Together you can check out which jobs fit your parent’s schedule, skills, and interests best.

8) Inspire To Travel

If your ask anyone what do you want to do in retirement. It’s probably traveling. And if that is something your parents dreamed of doing to you can support them and motivate them to travel. You can search for amazing deals online together, help rent an RV or give them a nice travel gift as a sign of support and motivation to follow their dreams.

I understand that it’s not possible for everyone to travel to other states or countries due to obvious financial reasons, but there is so much to explore within the area. Your parents can be a tourist of their own town. They can do all the touristic stuff in the area, visit local events or go on a photographic walking tour. And they can get all sorts of senior discounts. Some museums even have free admission days for seniors.

9) Stimulate Reading

Reading is the best therapy. According to the World Literacy Foundation, readings bring you in a meditative state of mind with the same health benefits such as better sleep, higher self-esteem, lower stress levels, and lower rates of depression versus non-readers.

To keep your parents busy you can give them a Kindle Ereader where they have access to thousands of books and audiobooks. They can travel to other worlds without leaving their own house. It’s the cheapest travel gift out there. And with unlimited reading, they for sure will be busy for the next couple of years in retirement. They can take this pocket-size device anywhere they go.

10) Visit Local Senior Center

According to Aarp, over 1 million older adults participate in senior center activities. So, you can visit your parent’s local senior center to see what kind of activities they offer and see if there is a great match. Via search engine on Aarp, you can find a local community center near you.

11) Encourage The Outdoors

Nature is a magical thing. We all know that everything feels lighter and more clear after a walk in nature or a dive in the ocean.

If you want to keep your parents busy in retirement it’s best to encourage them to go outside, because being indoors all the time makes you feel depressed.

Even if it’s a daily brisk walk in the morning. Those couple of minutes of physical exercise and fresh air every day can have a massive impact on your parent’s physical and mental health. Being in nature reduces stress, boosts the immune system, and improves your mood.

12) Create A Bucket List Together

When you retire you lose a lot of things: daily routines, a purpose, social interactions, and a goal to strive for. Now, we’ve tackled most of these things in this article, the last one is another important one: setting goals.

Your parents achieved many goals in their life: graduating, getting married, having kids, job promotion, and retirement. Now that their last one is accomplished they can feel aimless and unfulfilled in retirement when they miss having a goal.

But goals are so important in life. It gives you a reason to get up in the morning, you have a direction in life and it helps you move life forward. Without a goal, you can feel useless and unsatisfied.

If this is something that sounds familiar with your parents there is a great way to help your parents set new goals in retirement. And that is by creating a bucket list. It’s a list of all things they want to do in life before they kick the bucket.

And by creating a bucket list together they can get inspired to get busy with activities in retirement. It can help them get a new perspective on life and a motivation to get up in the morning with a fresh and positive mindset.

If you want to know how to create a bucket list and want some inspiration for your parents retirement bucket list you can read my article: 430 Ideas For Your Retirement Bucket List.

Kirsten Veldman

Since 2017, my husband and I have been location-independent retirees. With hundreds of articles written, I'm passionate about helping other retirees!

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