My father is in excellent physical health for 81. He is widowed and retired. I am in search of an activity he can do that he enjoys. He likes to problem solve, to build things, to work with his hands, to help others even. It would be great if he could go work somewhere a few days a week doing something he liked but he is hesitant to try new things. I would like to find something he can enjoy here at home that maybe can be a give back activity. I have scoured the internet for senior activities but all the activities assume someone is old and inactive. I have an active senior who can be useful if I can find the right thing to plug him in to. Any ideas welcome!

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My dad,before his ALZ got too bad, helped at Habitat for Humanity. He was good at woodworking and painting, and really felt good about this
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to pamzimmrrt

Volunteering! Our local meals on wheels service is always looking for volunteer drivers. The seniors getting the meals love to talk to the delivery drivers so it's good social interaction both ways. There are a ton of volunteer opportunities.
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Reply to imadaughter17

Depending on his interests, check with the local animal shelter, food bank, Optimist Club, Rotary Club, Boys and Girls Clubs, Cemetery Association, etc. Groups like the Rotary club here put out flags for the holidays and always need drivers and volunteers to put flags in the holders. Maybe a group needs a new sign or someone to assemble packets or call for donations for a charity.
Or he can start a new one. The local volunteer Fire Dept here sets up a fund raiser every year where you can “purchase” a 4 ft lighted angel in memory of someone for $20 and they set up an Angel Garden. It’s beautiful, but takes manpower and organization to pull it off every holiday season.
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Reply to campbec

Does he drive?
Your local Senior Center might have lists of people that need little jobs done around the house.
The Hospice I Volunteer for is always looking for new Volunteers and there are a variety of jobs that can be done.
How about checking with the local school to see if they need help. (not sure if you would want him around unvaccinated kids...)
Local animal shelter. They need people to walk dogs, play with cats (as well as clean cages the unglamorous aspect of that)
Local Food Pantry might need volunteers.
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Reply to Grandma1954

He needs to meet. Friends.
Call a Senior place to see about him going for a half day to meet others for lunch and play bingo or cards, ect.

Arrange dates for a few friends to come over for pizza and Cards.

See if he would be interested in building model airplanes or cars.

See if he could sign up for being a Grandfather to kids without one.
Start a small community garden.
See about a Church that has Senior Activities.
Maybe he can help at a Homeless Shelter or Food Pantry.
Go by the Dollar Store and Buy a dozen or two of helium balloons and take him to a Shelter to pass out to kids or older people to cheer them.
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Reply to bevthegreat

Here there is a relatively new movement for ‘Men’s Sheds’. They are volunteer groups, with premises often arranged by the local council. They mostly attract retirees with some practical skills, or who are willing to learn practical skills. The equipment is often donated from deceased estates. They make things for themselves s individuals, for a stall at the local fete, for local charities (eg servicing wheelchairs), or the general community (eg repairing and repainting toys that have gone to an OpShop). They started up because there were more activities for older women than for older men, particularly ex-tradies or DIY guys.

Perhaps you could find out if there is anything similar around where you are. Or even give a little push to see if you can encourage one to start up!
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Reply to MargaretMcKen

While I applaud your concern for your dad, I am wondering why a healthy 81 year old needs someone else to find things do him to do. I am 84 and find many (too many) things that keep me occupied.

I wonder if there is something else going on. For example, if he likes to build things and work with his hands, why isn't he? My grandfather at 80 made the rounds of his children, doing small repairs and building bird houses, then moving on to the next one. He was a very welcome guest.

You say he is hesitant to try new things. What about doing things he has done before?
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Reply to golden23

Does he drive ? Or you could drive him ??? He can volunteer ..

im 81 and have a parttime job so dont do it anymore but when i wasnt working i volunteered collecting lunchmoney at a local senior center four days a week and one day a week i walked patients to various areas in a local hospital.

i got free lunches and met a lot of nice people.

also hospitals have information desks if his walking isnt that good anymore.

or if he likes working with younger people there are various boys and girls clubs.
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Reply to Betsysue2002
MichelleWTX99 Nov 9, 2021
That is so cool! Thank you for sharing. May I ask, what work do you do part time? I hope to be an active senior when that time comes (20 plus years to go, but gotta plan, right?)

I love to hear from active seniors because so often we have assumptions and miss out on their perspective and what people are capable of. My dad is 86 and he still does carpentry work on his own home including hanging drywall and electrical work.
I also am a healthy 81 year old. My wife is still alive, but due to her problems she doesn't offer much in the way of companionship. I am basically her full-time caregiver. Because of that, I find I cannot leave the house for any extended period unless I hire a caregiver to come in. As a result, I have been finding things to do without leaving the house to keep my mind occupied. Everyone is different, but I have always been interested in finance and investing (which was not my occupation). So I have been spending a lot of time on the internet learning about options trading and crypto currencies. I enjoy learning new things, and this is an outlet that appeals to me. But what I find I miss most is companionship, male or female. I golfed some last summer, but I had to hire a caregiver to come in, which made it a pretty expensive round of golf. If I no longer had my caregiver duties, there are a lot of things I would like to do. Traveling would be one of them. Maybe a tour group or just a road trip in the US. There are places and things I haven't seen, and things I have not yet done. It would be nice to have someone to do it with, I would think. I have no interest in working again. I have done enough of that already. I do think your Dad would enjoy being with people, just about anyone that he likes to be with. Humans tend to be pretty social. Good luck.
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Reply to OldDog4321

This is Old Dog again. I forgot to mention another activity that might appeal to your Dad. Genealogy. I got interested in it several years ago, and it is something he might enjoy. There is a website, , that is very good. There are other free ones, as well. Maybe a Christmas gift to him for a one year subscription to would be a good start. It isn't very expensive. I also joined a local genealogy group that meets once a month. They have an interesting speaker every month, and there are several professional genealogists that belong to the group. They also take field trips from time to time, to such places as the local court house or to further destinations, all focused on genealogy research. If you can find a good local group they are happy to help you and teach you. There are also national organizations that might be of interest. Most people are interested in their family history, and your Dad might enjoy the entire experience, including socializing with like minded people.
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Reply to OldDog4321

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