Hobbies for grumpy old men?
June 23, 2010 8:28 AM Subscribe
My father just retired and is losing interest in the hobbies he once loved. I'd like to help try to spark some passion in something that will get him excited, and hopefully, get him out of the house. The catch? He is generally antisocial, depressed, and is extremely set in his ways.
posted by Tooty McTootsalot to sports, hobbies, & recreation (28 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
My father retired last winter, and he spends the bulk of his day listening to conservative talk radio shows or watching Law and Order. He doesn't get out much at all - he's lost contact with a lot of his old friends, and I worry about how that is affecting his mental health. He visits with my sisters and their families fairly regularly, but they live ~1.5 hours away (I live ~8 hours away), and so can't always be there.
There are reasons for this. He is depressed. Our mom passed away a few years ago, and she was the outgoing one who would schedule any social outings. He is apparently working on his depression with a therapist and is on medication, although he is very reserved and won't discuss this much with the rest of the family. I feel like the isolation and aimlessness are not only a product of the depression, but are also fueling it further.
I would like to encourage him to develop an interest involving meeting new people, or at least find a hobby he's passionate about. It breaks my heart to think of him sitting in his chair watching TV all day long. He used to love building model trains, but he lost interest in that. He is also very passionate about his ultra-conservative politics, but being that I am a atheist-commie-liberal-gay-hippie, I'm not too interested in fueling that interest.
He is also extremely stuck in his ways - new things are generally met with fear or derision. And any overt attempt at getting him to go out will be met with resistance. So, any prodding I'd like to do would need to be gentle. He also had a brain injury a while back - he used to be interested in woodworking, but now I'm not sure he's up for doing something that could be potentially dangerous. Also to give you an idea of what may be available nearby, he lives in a smallish (pop ~20,000) city in a southern state. And, for being as conservative as he is, he is not very religious - I have had no luck trying to get him involved in church activities.
Any ideas? What hobbies do old men have? Bonus for hobbies that get him out of the house.