Retired Parents Bored and My Guilt

(12 Posts)
kalkem72 Thu 06-Oct-16 10:12:55

I was't sure where to post this really so will try here ! My dad, 70 in Feb retired 18 months or so ago, mum age 71 hasn't worked for a long time, so both at home all day. I think they are driving themselves and each other slowly mad. Have no hobbies or very little social life (dad goes out at the weekend for a few beers, mum may see a friend now and again for a coffee). Every time I call they both complain how bored they are, have nothing to do but just don't seem to do anything about it. I have suggested options, swimming lessons, language courses, days out, holidays etc. Its not helped that my mum refuses to travel on a plane and has no interest in going away with just my dad at all so weekends away, city breaks are out of the question. I moved away 8 years ago and now live hour and half away and work 3 days a week, mum is always hinting that they can come up for the day but is it bad that I do have bits to do when I'm off and when they are here they are really not bothered about doing anything other than sitting in my kitchen drinking tea. My kids are older now age 15 and 11 and after the initial hello and small talk now disappear out or up their rooms. I love my parents dearly but I now have this overwhelming guilt that I should be doing more but I just don't know what !

MrsJayy Thu 06-Oct-16 10:20:38

You are talking about my parents clearly ☺ they are slowly driving each other crackers they do go on holiday a couple of times a year but apart from that nothing.
Dad loves walking so he does that, mum cleans her house till its blindingly clean
but tbh there isnt much you can do I have suggested this or that to mum and she just isnt interested but moans she is bored they are a bit younger than your parents Dad had a physical job he needed to retire mum regrets it i think which is a shame but what can you do there is nothing if they are not interested

kalkem72 Thu 06-Oct-16 15:22:10

Thank you. I'm not sure why I feel so guilty but like you say what can you do ! There are plenty of things that they could do they just need to do it ! I think its because I now feel like the only source of their social life and I know how much they look forward to being here. I think it would be different if they lived nearer but we've had that conversation many times and I give up waiting for them to move now.

MrsJayy Thu 06-Oct-16 15:26:41

All you can do is suggest things i guess but if they are stuck in a rut they wont listen

kalkem72 Thu 06-Oct-16 17:18:02

This is true - they are certainly not the most adventureous type so unlikely to change now ! Its just a shame that they are not off enjoying themselves making the most of the free time that's all.

MrsJayy Thu 06-Oct-16 19:55:20

I know a whole world to explore and theyare at your house drinkingtea no offence obviously 😀 I tried to get mum to come with me to a thing i was at i was told but we go to Morrisons on tuesday <sigh>

WussyWat Thu 06-Oct-16 20:03:31

Let them come and drink tea all afternoon in your kitchen if it gets them out of the house for a change. There'll be a day that won't be an option, then you'll feel guilt.

mortgagefreesoon5 Fri 07-Oct-16 20:12:20

Get them a rescue dog, they ll be wanting to take the dog out for walks, days out etc, it's a great way to chat to other people and it'll keep them busygrin
Also I'd get them presents (at Xmas, bdays etc)experiences they can enjoy, such us cinema tickets, or boat trips for the day, or Groupon meals out, or a ceramic weekend workshop.....
What about volunteering somewhere? Renting a room of their home? Getting a foreign student? Exchange houses within the country for a short time so they can visit other areas?
The world is their oyster!

Chottie Sun 09-Oct-16 06:45:26

OP - this is so sad!

Do you think your parents are nervous about stepping outside of their comfort zone? Does your dad have any skills / knowledge from his previous job he could share?

If your mum chats to friends, would she be interested in being a befriender and visiting local housebound people for a cuppa and a chat?

Rosa Sun 09-Oct-16 07:21:37

I would find out about clubs , meetings in the area and actually take them one week ...they are stuck in a rut and don't want to step out if the comfort zone. My Dad was like this when he retired and always felt he had to be doing something round the house so he never socialised , so my mum went alone. Then when he eventually started to join in it took him a year or so before he finally admitted that he enjoyed it. If they like art NADFAS , WI for your mum, volunteers for various societies , they are still young and if they want to help there are loads of places that need help . Making suggestions will fall on deaf ears you need to find out more go and take them...... Thats what we did with my father !!!

Sosidges Sun 09-Oct-16 09:33:48

It seems that your parents are like bored teenagers. They are complaining but not prepared to do anything about it. I think they are hoping that you will offer for them to come to you once a week, to give them a focus.

Hereby lies the trap that, on the days you cannot accommodate them, they will show their disappointment. You will find yourself making excuses why they cannot come and they will make you feel guilty. I would stop offering solutions, just try to close your ears to their complaints.

I am retired, I too find it boring, I know it is my own fault because I am anti-social.

kalkem72 Mon 10-Oct-16 17:03:20

Thank you all for your replies and sensible suggestions ! I am well aware that my parents are not getting any younger and time is precious - hence why I feel guilty about not offering every week for them to visit - its an hour and half journey both ways and mum now won't drive (she makes the plans and then tells dad that's what they are doing !) - I love them to pieces but when they are here it is so hard to get them to do anything other than just be here !

They are most definately stuck in a rut and won't do anything to change - their social life has more or less become walking round town centres with nothing to buy. I have suggested getting a dog as they would be ideal - not going on hoilday and days out there is no need to worry about making arrangments ! All suggestions fall on deaf ears as they are really not interested in doing anything with just the two of them and are really starting to rely far too much on their trips up here (its hardly exciting for them, just a change of scenery I guess).

They are very much too much in their comfort zone and just laugh if I suggest trying something new or different. I suggested a long time ago my dad advertise in local shops to become a gardener as that is what he enjoys - perhaps popping round to people who need an hour or so tidying up etc - has he done anything about it ? No !

Just so hard and frustrating really and also quite sad that they really should be enjoying this time of life too.

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