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  1. #1
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    Default old guy hobby suggestions

    Hi guys, haven't been posting much lately, life has been turned upside down. Anyway, I'm looking for suggestions from any of you that may have gone through this before.
    My 85 year old Dad just moved in with us last week after a month in the hospital. He can't live in his own house anymore.
    I'm looking for hobby type activities that he can do during the day so he doesn't get too bored and go stir crazy. Has to be something he can do while sitting. Has anyone been through this? How to fill an old guys time; what worked, what didn't;
    I was thinking water color painting but that could be a real mess. Also thought about going to a teachers supply and getting middle school activity stuff but that seems somewhat demeaning. He's not stupid, just not physically strong.
    Any suggestions are appreciated, Thanks Markus

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    Hi guys, haven't been posting much lately, life has been turned upside down. Anyway, I'm looking for suggestions from any of you that may have gone through this before.
    My 85 year old Dad just moved in with us last week after a month in the hospital. He can't live in his own house anymore.
    I'm looking for hobby type activities that he can do during the day so he doesn't get too bored and go stir crazy. Has to be something he can do while sitting. Has anyone been through this? How to fill an old guys time; what worked, what didn't;
    I was thinking water color painting but that could be a real mess. Also thought about going to a teachers supply and getting middle school activity stuff but that seems somewhat demeaning. He's not stupid, just not physically strong.
    Any suggestions are appreciated, Thanks Markus
    Painting is a great idea. I would also look at what he might have done in the past. You might be able to see somthing from his younger years that could be modified for him to do now.

    Painting ceramic's is another great art project for the elderly. We use this with my mother in-law. You buy the "green ware" and paint at a ceramic store or arts and crafts store. Then you take the finished/painted pieces back to the ceramic store for them to fire them. The cost depends on the size of the item. Most of the times that we get her cost between $3 & $10 and can take a day of several days to complete. If anyone wants a coffee mug or a salad plate just let me know!

    Maybe a little computer time on the Internet? It might involve a little learning curve, but it sure does pass the time and takes little strength. This is what is helping my 80 year old mother in-law pass the time in addition to the ceramics.

    Hope this helps..

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 03-15-2009 at 09:38 AM.
    Scott Patterson, ACI
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    My dad loved to read old cowboy books. When his eye sight got too bad we got him books on tape, which he enjoyed. You can get books on tape from the library here.


  4. #4

    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    My grandpa hadn't even touched a computer before his last year or so. One day I talked him into learning how to use a computer, and he loved it. For months, I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew, and it tested my patience at times, as I was the only one teaching him how to use it. In the end, it was well worth it.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    My dad is near that age and he could sit and watch the real old time Western movies or anything on National Geographic. He also enjoys watching the fishing and gaming shows.

    He doesn't live with us but I talk to him almost daily checking in on him. Way to stubborn to ever live with anyone.

    If you talk to your dad and ask him about the "old times", I'm sure you can find some interests of his.

    If not, there is always the Playboys.

    rick


  6. #6
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    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    Cross words and other puzzles are good activities that help to keep the mental acuity up. There are thousands to pick from on the web that can match up to his abilities. If his dexterity is decent, learning to play guitar or banjo can occupy lots and lots of hours. It might be a bit hard on your ears, though.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  7. #7
    Richard Moore's Avatar
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    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    If he's into card games like Bridge (don't get him started on Poker) or backgammon, or chess, etc there are all sorts of online, free, gamerooms where he can chat while playing. Points only, no actual wagering.

    I was addicted to a backgammon site quite a few years back. You get to know a few of the regulars after a while and I would spend way too much time playing and chatting in the wee hours. Fun playing the games and, at the time, fascinating that you could be talking to people around the world. Kind of used to that now. I eventually had to quit cold turkey but I could see doing it again if I was ever restricted to a chair.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    When my Mother moved to assisted living she did:
    She was an avid reader, and when her eyes started going, she started on large print stuff, then when they went further, it was books on tape.
    She played bingo every day (not so good in your case probably).
    She played bridge frequently, but had trouble with the cards after a while.

    She really enjoyed the old TV show channel and watched all those 70's shows.

    She had her thimble and spoon collection and really enjoyed those.

    She used to knit, but her eyes kind of stopped that too.

    My Mom wasn't really a hobby type, so crafty stuff didn't interest her. You may just ask him what he would like to do.

    My Mom's last year was pretty bad, so it's hard for me to remember just what she did with her time.

    Here are some of the things I didn't get done with my Mom, but were working on.

    Family history and stories.
    Identify all those people in the old family photos.
    Tell he how much I appreciate all of the things she did for me growing up, and how much I loved her. (I did manage to do that).

    Final thing - you never have enough time.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    If he can sit on a stool, try wood turning. Making wooden pens and ornaments. It would take some moving around, but most could be done sitting on a stool.


  10. #10
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    Sometimes I like to assemble plastic models, you know the airplanes, autos, ships etc. Going to extremes to get details right and using the internet and library to know the history of the item. There is a large scale model of "Old Ironsides" that is challenging and plenty of historical data is available. I give them to my grand children who really seem to like to display them in their rooms. When I get really involved in one of these projects, it is challenging and it lets me forget today's issues for several hours.

    As mentioned earlier, wood turning is great. However, it would really take a lot of planning to make it a completely sit down activity.

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES


  11. #11
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    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    I really appreciate the suggestions guys. I read all your posts and have made a list. I'm going to go through each one with him and see what works and what doesn't.
    He isn't really the hobby type either so that has made it a little difficult for me to come up with something. You guys have given me a good starting point.
    Thanks, Markus

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    Epanding a little on Jack and Ricks comments.
    My wifes dad enjoyed talking about the past, old cars, his and the familys experiences over the years, she went to Hallmark or ? and got a book that asked/ prompted questions for him to fill out about his life history.
    That kept him busy for a while filling that out. Now that he's gone she enjoys going back and reading his and her past.


  13. #13
    Chuck Weaver's Avatar
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    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    There are a lot of online games many of which you down load with an icon on the screen. All he would have to do is click on the icon to access the programs. Many of these games are played with others around the world, like Poker with the stars (play money version). Easy access and associating with others (dialog boxes) would certainly keep his brain active while associating with other people at the same time.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    Hi Markus,

    Glad you are taking care of your Dad.

    One thing we did with my Grand mother before the Alzheimer's got too far was to break out every picture we could; from albums to old shoe boxes full and had her identify everyone she could. That led to the most amazing stories and new historical perspectives about the family. When they are that age they tend to be remarkably forthcoming.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
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  15. #15
    Mike Truss Guy's Avatar
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    Talking Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    At that age there are probably 4 women to every man. Maybe buy the guy some Viagra and plant in the rec room at the community center a couple of times a week.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    Mike, it's funny you should mention Viagra. A couple years ago my old man got some 'male enhancement' pills in the mail. He thought he had ordered vitamin supplements of some kind. Anyway he was taking them for a week or two and then decided he should ask me about the pills since his package was stirring.
    I haven't gone to Hallmark to get one of those books but I have started keeping notes on some of the stories he tells me. It works out well because I can use the info to draw him into conversations when he gets mopey. We aren't much of a picture family so that would be a very short exercise.
    Thanks Guys, Markus

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    Markus,

    What has he done in the past which he could still do now?

    My Dad turns 80 this year and is finally recognizing that he can no longer go up on roofs as much as he could even a couple of years ago, but he just completed adding a 10x20 foot addition to the back of his carport/garage for 'more storage and to keep his golf cart out of the garage' (he uses the golf cart to run around his property in, out to his workshop, etc.).

    Not knowing where you live (not the city, but in a more confined townhouse/row house versus a single-family house subdivision versus with property) and what your Dad likes/liked to do, you may or may not have room for it.

    If he is into tinkering with things, set him up with a workbench area if you have room, making sure you accommodate current issues (poor eyesight - have large mounted and free magnifying glasses; limited mobility in fingers - use larger scale projects; things like that).

    Find out what he liked doing best of the things he did in the past, that will give you a direction to go in.

    Just as an example, let's say he like building things, but is now limited to handling large, but not heavy, pieces. Consider buying wood or cutting tree branches and making lawn furniture, then (so you don't have to have it all pile up around your house) help him donate it to someplace which needs it, shelters, parks, etc. That way he not only does what he likes to do, but is actually producing something which is needed by someone else.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    Mike, it's funny you should mention Viagra. A couple years ago my old man got some 'male enhancement' pills in the mail. He thought he had ordered vitamin supplements of some kind. Anyway he was taking them for a week or two and then decided he should ask me about the pills since his package was stirring.
    I haven't gone to Hallmark to get one of those books but I have started keeping notes on some of the stories he tells me. It works out well because I can use the info to draw him into conversations when he gets mopey. We aren't much of a picture family so that would be a very short exercise.
    Thanks Guys, Markus

    Mine either. Actually my family is the one that put fun in dysfunctional.

    I do give you kuddo's for taking your Dad in though. I can assure you that is hard on a marriage and will try you at times.

    Have patience and be good to your wife if your going to have him with you for any extended time.

    Best of Luck,
    rick

    rick


  19. #19
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    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    Sorry, I haven't had the time to reply to Jerry and Rick's suggestions. I've spent the last week running back and forth to the Hospital, doctors, looking for a rehab, blah, blah. What a time sink.
    Had to call the ambulance last Monday, couldn't wake him up no matter what. Turns out when I took him back to his house on Sunday to get more of his stuff he brought a bottle of his pills with I didn't know about.
    He felt crappy Sunday night, so after I gave him his regular meds he decided to take a few more figuring he'd feel better. (great logic I know). Anyway the extra meds plummeted his sugar level. Yesterday was the first day he hasn't had that glazed over invalid look.
    Figuring he'll be home in a week or so. I figure he took care of me when I was a stupid teenager, it's payback time.
    My old man was a workaholic GC, so work related stuff is pretty much out. I've brought up the suggestions you guys have made and his response to some has been, Well, I guess that sounds alright". Which is his way of agreeing to try something.
    Thanks

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  20. #20
    Mitchell Toelle's Avatar
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    Default Re: old guy hobby suggestions

    Markus,

    I know I'm posting a little late but I do have a suggestion. For all my years I have enjoyed working with my hands, even small projects, ie. model building, furniture building and repair, turning, Luthier work, list goes on... One of the most enjoyable things I have done is fishing rod building (mostly fly rods). Supplies are generally reasonable (except for the blanks) and they can be sold when completed (if done with any skill). They are time consuming, require concentration, diligence and some dexterity. However, you can sit on your butt the whole time as long as the supplies are in front of you.

    Some sources for tools, supplies and equipment are: Angler's Supply (google it), Hook and Hackle Hook and Hackle and Mud Hole Mud Hole Custom Tackle -- The World's Largest Rod Building Supplier.

    Maybe it won't be his cup-o-tea but thought it would be worth a mention.


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