My 86 year old Dad is home bound but is still alert. He doesn’t know what to do with himself now that he is too frail to do his usual activity. He only knows how to work. He looks at hobbies as being a waste of time. He isn’t achieving anything. Does anyone have any ideas on a worthwhile activity he can do in his chair? Thanks for everyone’s help.


  1. Could he make simple toys for kids and donate them to Operation Christmas Child? There are a lot of toys you can easily make from recycled materials. Google it and you will get lots of ideas. This way he still feels like he is contributing to something worthwhile.

  2. Being still alert and disliking mundane activities, the only things which he will ever find interesting and meaningful are those related to his past work and allow him to feel he is still productive.

    If his eyesight is still good and can learn how to use a computer, help him subscribe to cattle raisers associations’ websites or agriculture bulletins, show him how he can curate content and share his knowledge and expertise on blogs or Facebook, and have discussions with other cattlemen or people in the industry.He’ll be constantly engaged for hours which will also help sustain his mental and emotional health.

  3. How about jig-saw puzzles with scenes that he might relate to.Also crossword or word find puzzles.
    Get him an inexpensive set of paints, craft paint, watercolor, color pencils and a spiral bound sketchbook, you can find all these items at art stores or Walmart.Help him do a simple painting to begin with like an apple, orange or otherand see how he likes it.
    You could get him a notebook where he could write some of the interesting things about his life, job, family.If he doesn’t want to write them maybe a small hand held recorder he can record these events.
    Does he use a desktop or laptop computer? If not, you could teach him how to go on the internet.

  4. Do you have any painting projects like signs or bird houses?Maybe get some kits for him to put together. Anything with an old motor that he might be able to tinker with on a table.

  5. My dad was in the same boat. He had been a dentist and always worked. He eventually became very deaf and can hardly see either. He does live with me, so I’m there to help him through the day. I try to have him help me with things like shelling beans and peas, folding laundry, sorting things, grinding coffee beans, helping me make home-made ice cream, baking cookies, etc.

    It will probably depend on if your father sees these kinds of activities as “woman’s work.” But when a person gets bored enough they can sometimes become more open to doing things that they aren’t used to — and they start enjoying it too. They may start to see hobbies not as a waste of time, but as a life saver. But thismay take time.

    I hope other people will write some ideas here too!

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