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Dad has never been the one to exercise as he mostly had physical jobs. Since he is no longer working, he sits in the chair all day unless he goes out for breakfast lunch or a dinner. He does not have the money for a gym nor will go (tried that when he moved in here, went once). We live in a great place to walk (nope, cant do that inner ear issue, crystals are loose he says). He is getting heavier (I'm losing weight he says), "don't think so pop". Now he is using a cane off and on "back problems" he says. He can almost get in to a trot if we call dinner or are going somewhere. I advise him to walk up and down the drive way, walk to the neighbors house, take your dog for a walk..... Nope, won't do it. So what do I do? He is getting heavier, totally out of shape. Sits in-front of the TV all day..... Loud TV BTW...... I close the door to his room when I am trying to watch my TV. My fear is he will get so big he wont be able to move and I really don't want to deal with that. I am sure his Dr tells him to walk or lose weight (we have the same Dr, he tells me to as well of which I am heeding his advice). I tell him to go to the mall and walk in the winter. Not sure what to do at this point. No, I really don't want to walk with him.

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When I reach age 81, I hope that I don't have to do things that I don't want to do. A person that age does not always have the energy, perspective and drive that we have earlier in life. Of course, he's living with you, so I suppose you make the rules of the house, but, with a senior that age, I'm not sure what can be accomplished by putting pressure on him. I mean, even if he were exercising, how many years would it increase his life expectancy? I just think at some point, you've earned the right to eat what you want and do as you please, within reason.
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Ive tried to coax him to do things but he does what he wants. He loves to be entertained, eating out, going to church. I will talk to the pastor and to my daughter (she goes to church with him) to see about senior programs. He is 81. He always worked in construction so he was always busy but now nothing to do. I give him things to do around the house but he wont do them. I offered him to work in the yard, ride the tractor, nope bored, pick up his dogs poo, not, didn't like it, (neither do I but I have to do it). Help with some house repairs, (I end up doing all the work). He needs me to be right there when he does it, kind of defeats the purpose. I ask him to fix something but then I have to get the tool and do the clean up so I might as well do it myself. He will only make dinner if it is something he likes Usually involved the parts of the animal lost throw away.
So I have tried.
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How old is your dad? Your description sounds like he is competent and doesn't have any cognitive decline. In that case, I'd use a little encouragement and then let it go. I suppose it's a personal decision, but if a senior is competent, then, I think we have to step back and let them make their own life choices, even if they are not wise ones.

First, I would make sure that you have signed DPOA and HCPOA, so that if he gets sick, you can help him. Then, I'd encourage him to see his doctor along with you. Maybe, the doctor can recommend Silver Sneakers. That's covered by insurance. Plus, there he can socialize with other seniors, make friendships and get fit.

If your attempts don't work, you can try to have family activities that involve movement like croquet, walking, bird watching, etc.  Do you know of any single senior ladies in the neighborhood who want a walking companion?  Maybe, if she called him directly and asked him to accompany her, he might be more inclined.   

If all fails, I'd accept his decision and leave him in peace.
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I have a feeling that a lot of people assigned the title of "old" to themselves and cut back on activities. Much of this is societal. There is really not much specifically designed for older people to do in the US except maybe weekly dances or to senior centers. The good thing about these activities is they do give people a chance to make friends or even find new mates. Most people don't do them, though.

My father assigned the label "old" to himself when he retired. He spent the rest of his life sitting in a chair by the window. My mother assigned the label to herself when she was around 75. Each year was going to be the last on earth. For the last seven years she has acted like each day was her last. She started telling people she was 90 when she was 89 and stopped doing anything at all. Her health is actually still fine except her back and mind. She just says she is very old and can't do things. She says that my father died when he was 90, like it is saying she'll die at any minute. She's been dying for so long, though, I can't pay a lot of attention to each time she talks about it.

I do wish she would get up, but I get tired of trying to get her to do it. I do have to remind her that I'm not her slave. That makes her mad, because she feels that I owe her something. I can't imagine how I would ever pay off this imaginary debt. Yesterday I told her that she should have bought a slave instead of having a daughter. Didn't even register to her how much damage she has done.
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You are singing my song. Mom tells everyone that she "is allergic to exercise" She just wants to sit around all day and have her meals brought to her. Her favorite hobby is napping and she does work at it all the time. She barely participates in her physical therapy and she has now found herself in a rehab facility. This is after a UTI and laying in the hospital bed for four days. Now, she can't walk at all. I told the rehab center not to send her home until she can walk.
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tg, I was just thinking of your dad. He has always liked to do things. It sounds like he needs to find him things he enjoys doing, like coffee with the boys and walks around the park. I don't know what he'd like. Sometimes I think just having a friend or two to visit with would be the answer.
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tg, I've been dealing with this with two parents. For my father I think it was fear that kept him in his chair. He was afraid of falling and afraid of people. My mother also stays in her chair all day. She could do much more but she won't. She has pain in her back and is also a very lazy person. I've tried to get her up and about, but it just makes me feel like a bad guy. I tell her to "use it or lose it," but it's about the same as talking to the rabbit. So I don't try anymore. I do resent it, because she wants me to fetch for her. I don't fetch. I just get p*ssed at being treated with disrespect.
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