Looking for NYC-based activities for recently retired grandmother
June 17, 2014 8:35 PM Subscribe
My grandmother is 89, and only retired in the last year. Since she's retired, she hasn't been doing much, and I'm worried about how she'll do over the next few years if she doesn't stay busy. I'd like to make a list of things she could be doing in NYC, where she lives, to stay active. She has some very specific needs and interests, though, and can be a bit ornery, so I'm hoping you can help me work within her limitations.
My grandmother, a widower, stayed in her job (teaching at community college) until this year. Now that she's retired, she hasn't been doing much, and we're all a bit worried about her. I'd like to help her think about what she could be doing with her time, but because of her age, health, and general disposition, it's been difficult to come up with anything much. Hopefully you can help!
-Kids: Think 10 and under. It comes up often that she student taught, many years back, in elementary school, and loved it.
-The arts: She enjoys going to the ballet, opera, and theatre productions. She is also an avid reader.
-Travel: She can't really travel much anymore because of her age/health, but she used to travel regularly to places all over the world.
-Walking: She seems to really like walking around the city (slowly) and window shopping.
-After kids pass 10 years old or so, she is not a fan.
-She is in the early stages of Parkinson's, so dexterity is an issue. She can't currently drive (though who would ask her to drive in NYC, I have no idea) and she can't really hold/carry things reliably.
-She often prefers standing to sitting.
-I have heard secondhand that she is really against the standard old lady-ish activities - canasta, bridge, bingo, etc.
-She's pretty ornery. Often this looks like disagreeing with what others are saying, even when they're basically paraphrasing her. It can also look like a lack of empathy. I think this comes out most with her family and students, so I'd like to think that if she was out and about elsewhere in the world this wouldn't be such an issue...but I can't be sure. This disposition means that she might not be a great fit for an activity that requires too much kindness, or good customer service.
I'm looking for any and all suggestions about what my grandmother could be doing with her time - volunteering, joining a particular group, part time work, etc. I realize these limitations might make this task completely impossible...if it helps, I think it'd be better to have things that fit her limitations but not her interests, rather than vice versa, as they seem to be a much more important factor for her decisions.