In my opinion, Elders can be a pretty boring life stage if you play wants-based like me. Elder Sims are done having children, may be done with their careers, and may even have an empty nest. Then you’re left wondering how to make them more fun to play.
(I’m looking at you, Oldies.)
Here are some things I do to make Elder-only households more entertaining.
In their golden years, I have my elders work on mastering their hobbies. You can see my hobby and sub-hobby system for The Sims 2 in this post.
If they haven’t yet reached max hobby enthusiasm, this is a goal you can work towards. They can also work on maxing out hobby-related skills such as creativity and logic.
They could also create for other Sims. A Sim with the painting hobby and a maxed creativity skill can create paintings for family members as gifts. A Sim with a maxed cooking skill and the Cuisine hobby could cook excellent meals for their children’s households, etc.
When I play the Goth household in Pleasantview, I always have Mortimer (who has a maxed cooking skill) stock the fridge with as many high quality meals as possible for the family to eat after he dies. They can live on his Turkey for weeks!
Adopting Children & Teens
When I play the Oldie family in Pleasantview, the first thing I do is have them adopt a child to raise. I usually have them adopt a little girl and pair her up with Beau Broke since he doesn’t have a potential partner his own age in the ‘hood.
Having elders adopt a needy child or teen gives them a new purpose in life and makes the household more fun (in my opinion). You get a new round of age-ups and milestones, plus new opportunities for your elders to teach the child and influence their behavior.
If my elders are closer to the end of their lives, I have them adopt teens. You can use this mod to enable teen and townie adoption. It also allows you to choose the gender of your adopted child (or teen).
Starting a Business
Elders have usually amassed quite a bit of knowledge and may be very good at their hobbies by now. They can start a business to sell their creations – paintings, sculptures, etc. Or, they can sell produce from a garden or start a restaurant or bakery.
If they don’t have a creative hobby but they do have cash, they could even start a small general store, pet store, or some other business that corresponds with their interests.
Playing Open for Business with elder shopkeepers keeps them busy and gives them something useful to do. Instead of playing your elders on speed 3 and praying for death, open a shop!
They get social interaction from their customers so they don’t feel so alone. It benefits the entire ‘hood, as they can find purpose and provide a service at the same time.
In alternate versions of Pleasantview, I’ve had the Oldies breed pets to make them more interesting. Elder Family Sims – like Coral Oldie – often really enjoy breeding animals and roll wants to get new pets frequently.
To start, I have them adopt a male and female of whatever pet they want – small dog, large dog, or cat. I just wait for the elder in question to roll a want for a puppy or kitten and go with that. If you want to speed things up, adopt adult animals instead of babies.
Next, I befriend the pets, get them to befriend each other, and start breeding. After that, I’ll start my own little pet adoption agency by selling animals to the other Sims in the ‘hood.
Babysitting & Housekeeping
Another possibility is having your elders move in with their adult children as free babysitters and housekeepers.
For example, you could move the Oldies in with Mary-Sue and Daniel Pleasant, using their starting money to build them a little cottage in the back or remodel the house to make room for them.
Elders can provide free childcare and help with chores while the adults focus on their careers, hobbies, having children, etc. This is a good solution if you don’t like playing elder-only households. Just combine them with more interesting Sims and give them a background role.
I’ve moved the Oldies in with the Pleasants before, and used Coral to give guidance to the Pleasant twins – keeping them out of trouble while their parents basically ignore them. Some Simmers prefer to move Lilith in with the Oldies instead.
Traveling to the Bon Voyage worlds is something else I frequently do with elders. They have the time and the money to spend on vacations in their later years. Many of my Sims never go on vacation until they’re elders because it’s the first time they get any real leisure time in their lives.
I always like to send Mary-Sue Pleasant, for example, to Takemizu Village. I imagine this is her birthplace and she’d like to visit again before she dies. You could come up with all sorts of story possibilities here.
Rich elder romance Sims could also travel to look for new loves – especially if they’ve already plowed through the choices in their home neighborhood. (Pun intended.)
I always have a retirement home in my neighborhood that I fill with townie elders. It’s a really fun household to play, especially if you use ACR (autonomous casual romance mod).
I prefer my playable elders to stay in their own homes until their family members can inherit the house, but I have considered putting the Oldies in a home with other elders to make them more interesting – and give them something to do. I think Herb, especially, would love to be surrounded by elder ladies.
I age up an adult townie each time one of my playables ages to an elder. Then, the newly-eldered townie moves into the retirement home. Once I get through my regular round of households, I play the retirement home. Some elders die, some have affairs, some continue their careers, etc.
It gives them a place to live out the rest of their lives among others their own age.
Do you have any ideas for making elders more fun that I didn’t discuss here? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below and share!