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Ideas for simple projects for my Dad

(24 Posts)
squashyhat Sun 29-Oct-17 11:08:33

I had some great advice on here recently about helping my Dad with LPAs. I am hoping you can help with another question. He lives on his own and is not very active at present and needs something to keep his brain occupied, other wise he tends to descend into depression and constantly mulling over his problems. I need some simple projects I can get him to do to while my sister and I are not there. He can use the internet but has done all the family history stuff. Does anyone have any ideas?

MrsOverTheRoad Sun 29-Oct-17 11:24:05

What interests does he have? My friend's elderly Dad has always loved murder and mystery so he "sleuths" by looking at the Doe Network...trying to match missing people with unclaimed bodies.

Grim but he loves doing it as it's something for society...there's nothing official in what he does but he lets the investigating officer know if he finds a match.

More cheerful might be something like setting up a local history page?

Helenluvsrob Sun 29-Oct-17 12:00:12

He needs to get out to a group / adult education thing. Photography? Painting ? Book group ? Knitting ??

My parents went to a group where dad did paining and Mum did anything that was not painting just so she didn’t spent 24/7 with him and his dementia 😂.

Basically anything to connect with people. Home on the computer is limited in its benefits.

AhAgain Mon 30-Oct-17 07:00:06

How about writing his own autobiography (or his version)? Obviously not a book, but a long story.

Has he got loads of old photos that need sorting into albums?

Is he into jigsaws? Other puzzles (like sudoku and crosswords)? To fill in a bit of time...

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Mon 30-Oct-17 07:04:23

U3A - University of the Third Age is great for this sort of scenario.

Theworldisfullofidiots Mon 30-Oct-17 07:05:22

Knitting. Loads of groups now. Also not completely female dominated and v welcoming to men!

daisygirlmac Mon 30-Oct-17 07:09:14

Learning to cook? How is he at handy type projects, could he make something you need (set of shelves, bedding box, some planters?). I second the suggestion of joining a group though it’s so important to keep socialising and not be on his own all the time. Is there one of those men’s shed type groups near you?

junebirthdaygirl Mon 30-Oct-17 07:10:40

Saw some bird boxes that can be painted. Could he do one for himself and one for your dc?

squashyhat Mon 30-Oct-17 08:50:53

Thanks for all your ideas. Helenluvsrob - if only. He is pathalogically unsociable and anything done in a group would be his idea of hell. I have tried and tried to get him interested in his local U3A group with no success. He has already written his memoirs. He can do basic cookery so might get him a book with some more challenging recipes and is good at handiwork so I might suggest the birdboxes or get him some for Christmas. I did help him with a crossword the other day so puzzle books are probably a goer.

bookbook Mon 30-Oct-17 08:58:43

How about this website

www.zooniverse.org/projects/marckuchner/backyard-worlds-planet-9

Nasa help fund this - its looking for unexplained objects in space

thesandwich Mon 30-Oct-17 22:04:24

Would any of the futurelearn courses be any interest? Free and a very broad range? Words with friends (scrabble on line) ? How about gardening? Planting bulbs in pots for the spring?

thesandwich Mon 30-Oct-17 22:05:32

On line newspaper? Crosswords and problems in line?

AgentProvocateur Mon 30-Oct-17 22:18:41

Seconding futurelearn. They have some great courses and there’s bound to be something he’s interested in

CMOTDibbler Tue 31-Oct-17 08:53:53

If he can knit, then he could do squares for Woolly Hugs - something to keep him busy, as complicated as he feels, and doing someone else some good which gives it some meaning.

Autumnl3aves Tue 31-Oct-17 23:24:34

Have you got anything broken that that that you can apply take to your dad for him him to fix or paint? What about bird spotting in his garden daily. What about airfield models,,, match stick models, boats or planes that move. Renovate an old motorbike or car. Make some sort of safe toys that will you can donate to shoebox or. Other charity. Make birthday cards. Embroidery, tapestry,, cross stitch.. Make insect houses / hotels. Audio books. Make jewellery. Rag rug. Etsy.com is a great place to look at things things people have been made

Pithivier Wed 01-Nov-17 07:13:08

Dos he have lots of photographs? Would he be willing to put them chronologically into albums. Explaining who the people are and giving a bit of background to,the photos.

In my old age I have found an interest in jigsaws. Also there is a book called "logic problems. You can get them from W H Smiths for £2.95 The puzzles range from very simple to difficult. As I get older, I struggle with some of them now, but it helps s keep my brain alert even when I mess them up.

annandale Wed 01-Nov-17 07:16:13

There was a big project locally researching every man on the war memorial and making a book with all the information. A lot of areas did it for the centenary but it might not have been done in your Dad's area?

Chottie Wed 01-Nov-17 07:17:03

Is he interested in practical things? If so, Men in Sheds is great.

www.ageuk.org.uk/services/in-your-area/men-in-sheds/

I work in a college and there is a Men in Sheds project in the grounds. They come and help us with painting, gardening, putting up shelves and also make lots of things like bird boxes, Christmas decorations etc. and they sell them in our college once a year before Christmas.

squashyhat Wed 01-Nov-17 08:01:15

Thanks again - I will follow up all your suggestions. I have done Futurelearn courses myself so don't know why I didn't think of that! I suggested he became a BBC weather watcher yesterday but that was met with a sneer sad. Sometimes I think he just likes wallowing in his own misery. Actually that's unfair - I think he is depressed - but he won't do anything about that either. V frustrating.

annandale Wed 01-Nov-17 08:09:54

I'm afraid all you can do for that type is keep visiting and let them be miserable at you for 30 minutes or whatever you can stand. Don't be afraid to say that he sounds depressed and why on earth won't he see his GP like any sensible person.

Needmoresleep Wed 01-Nov-17 08:36:02

If he wont do anything to help himself he will have to live with the consequences, and you should not feel guilty. Nor should you feel obliged to fill the gap.

My dad came from a poor urban background and was very aware that his parents kept him on the straight and narrow whilst many of his peers fell by the wayside. (From what others have said I suspect he was quite a naughty teenager.) He volunteered in a soup kitchen till he was about 85. He felt at ease with the elderly homeless and alcoholics. He also volunteered for his old Army Association, sending out wreaths and organising representation at funerals, till a couple of months before he died. And was a competent speaker so gave talks to various local associations about his career. (I suspect to three men and a dog, but he was happy to speak and they were happy to listen - and one invitation begat another.)

So not really joining something but doing something for others.

Is there any group that your dad feels sympathy towards or interest in. What volunteer roles might they have online or in person.

And if nothing...you sort of have your answer. In which case I would think about a possible change in setting to sheltered housing of somewhere with a built in community. He might not engage much but at least there are people around.

Caulk Wed 01-Nov-17 08:42:33

How active is he? Dog walking for cinnamon Trust?

WinnerWinnerChickenDinner0 Wed 01-Nov-17 08:54:06

Making and painting model airplanes from those kits?

woollychimp Thu 02-Nov-17 20:10:44

Can he still drive ? Could he be a volunteer driver - taking people to hospital appts etc?

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