What should my older outdoorsy dad do to void loneliness over the winter?
September 13, 2011 1:29 PM Subscribe
What can my divorced older parent do to get away from home and avoid loneliness, particularly in the winter? He likes eating and the outdoors, but isn't religious. A warm spot with built-in company of some type would be ideal.
posted by procrastination to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My father, who is in his seventies, recently divorced from my mother after being separated for more than five years. He now lives alone in a rural part of the Northwest, near where he used to be a forestry professor. While he had planned on travelling and being pretty active after retirement, that wasn't what my mother had in mind and they ended up separated and now divorced.
During the summer and good weather, he often spends time out fishing, hunting, and hiking, though of course he is slowing down and does more out of a car than from horseback or by foot than he used to. In the winter, he ends up mostly housebound for long periods of time due to bad weather. During this time he tends to get very lonely and gloomy. Recently, his dog passed away so this will probably be worse this winter. While he has some money for retirement and travel, he is not wealthy.
We are trying to find things to suggest that he can do that will get him out of the house for some or all of the winter. While he could just go on vacation somewhere, he still ends up lonely if he is by himself and tends to come home then. He is very charming and has great stories to tell about his life, so he gets along great in groups. He loves eating, and his favorite foods are ones that are foraged or grown fresh locally. He has a lot of affinity for native americans, and is very concerned about global warming.
We are open to considering pretty much anything that is: active, outdoorsy, comes with or builds some community, and is in a warmer clime. Ideally, there might be some sort of volunteer activity or outdoor activity that isn't killer expensive, but which comes with a group of people who are there together and who would be good company for the duration of the trip. It is worth noting that he isn't religious and that trips that center around religious activities wouldn't be of interest.
What is out there for older active folk who enjoy company?