Retirement is supposed to be a time with lots of fun activities planned and staying happy and healthy. Well, this isn’t the reality for many retirees out there. And that is why many kids are concerned about their unhappy retired parents. You and many others would ask themselves, what to do when my dad is retired and bored?
Well, I’m here to help you out! I researched hours and listed 16 simple and powerful ways in this article that will help your retired and bored dad immediately. Let’s start unpacking.
1) Apply For Classes
The easiest way to help your bored dad is to apply him for classes. You can check out nearby classes, but you can also apply him for online classes, which he can start today!
One of my favorite platforms is Masterclass, where you can access 100+ different classes from the World’s Greatest. From Gordon Ramsay, Alicia Keys, Samuel L. Jackson, Ron Finley to many more exciting experts in their field. They all share their tricks, tips, and secrets via easy-to-follow videos that are accessible for everyone and any skill level. Your dad can learn anytime, anywhere, and at his own pace.
I highly recommend checking out Masterclass. It can be a fantastic gift for your dad, and it will help him not be bored anymore. Also, through all the different classes, he can explore new future hobbies and learn new things, which will benefit his health and mood for a long time.
2) Explore New Hobbies Together
Another way to help your bored and retired dad is to explore new hobbies together. Sometimes the threshold to start exploring is too high for someone who feels alone and sad. Lacking self-confidence keeps someone inactive. Perhaps your dad can use your stimulation and motivation to start exploring new hobbies together. You will give him a positive ‘kick in the pants’. Just to get things started and get going. Once he gets the hang of it, he will continue on his own.
And when it comes to finding a new hobby, it doesn’t need to be a home run right away. Just only doing something new will give you new insights and answers to what you do and don’t like. It creates positive momentum and helps to continue the quest. Therefore try out something unusual and have some fun along the way. My article: 20 Unusual Hobbies To Try Out Once In Life can help you get inspired.
3) Motivate To Exercise
Exercising has many benefits. Besides the physical health benefits, exercising also improves mental health and helps you to be more productive and tackle whatever life throws at you. Exercising is an enormous energy and mood booster.
According to a study on NCBI: “Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal.”
When you can motivate your dad to start exercising in the morning, it will help him to stay active during the rest of the day. He will be much more motivated to do something positive each and every day.
Perhaps you can hike every morning together or gift him outdoor hiking shoes as a sign of support and motivation to exercise more. Or show him how to work with a Fitness app.
You can download the no.1 Fitness App Aaptiv for your dad. He’ll get access to more than 1000 different audio and video workouts and get the guidance of a certified expert trainer on demand. From Yoga to Total Body Training, there’s a class for every interest and fitness level. You can start a free trial for seven days for your dad here.
4) Help To Structure His Days
As I explained above, a healthy start of the day, like exercising, can help your dad stay productive and in a positive mood during the rest of the day.
Many retirees struggle with structuring their days in retirement. The endless free time can be overwhelming, and they start to lay on the couch more and more and scroll through social media for hours on end. This creates a negative spiral and leads to boredom and feeling unhappy and unsatisfied.
Helping your dad structure his retirement days will help him not to be bored anymore. You can find more information in my article: How To Structure Your Retirement Day: 15 Tips.
5) Find A Pet
Finding a pet to take care of is also a way to help your bored dad in retirement. A pet needs attention care and creates more structure and new meaning in your dad’s life. A dog will help him get out of the door a couple of times a day and make him more fit. And when your dad is less mobile, a different pet like a cat can be suitable for him.
Please note that taking care of a pet is serious business. Pets need someone who can take care of them properly and is in good health. It is what they deserve as well—a two-way street. Your dad will find joy in an animal companion in retirement, and the animal is fortunate to have a loving human taking care of them.
My article: 10 Scientific Based Facts How Pets Help Old People can be a helpful read as well.
6) Inspire To Improve Cooking Skills
The quote: “You are what you eat” is very true. And the chances are that someone who is bored like your dad feels unhappy and will eat food that is not so good for him. A happy person is more likely to choose healthy food. Choosing healthy food is choosing self-love. And also, healthy food will bring out the best in you. It is a positive spiral upwards when you eat healthily. It benefits your mood, mental and physical health.
That is why helping your dad with his cooking skills will help him take care of himself inwardly, and that only will benefit him on the outside as well.
And a great platform to improve cooking skills (for any skill level) is Masterclass. They have over 20 different cooking classes from the world’s renowned chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Massimo Bottura, Aaron Franklin, Thomas Keller, and many more! Your dad can upgrade his skills or start from scratch when cooking with Masterclass. From Mexican, Southern Food to Japanese, Italian, and everything in between. Your dad will have access to all classes. And gifting him access to Masterclass Cooking Classes will inspire him to start appreciating cooking and eating positively.
Perhaps you’ll be surprised with a culinary evening next time you see him. Or give him a challenge. Next week or month I want to have a 3-course Italian meal cooked by you.
7) Sign Up For (Volunteer) Work
One of the most popular activities in retirement is doing volunteer work. It has everything in it that will help a retiree not feel bored. Volunteer work creates a daily structure, gives people a new purpose in life, creates opportunities for social interactions, and gives someone a happy and satisfying feeling at the end of the day. It can give your dad his worthiness back. The key to a happy retired life. Below are some interesting links to find volunteer jobs for your dad.
Where To Find A Volunteer Job For Your Retired Dad
- Habitat.org: As a volunteer, you construct homes or renovate older or damaged ones. They are spread around the US.
- PeaceCorps.gov: Opportunity to volunteer abroad, within communities overseas to improve education, health, environment, and more. This is a cheap way to travel because housing and travel expenses are taken care of.
- Volunteer.gov: check out this website if you’re dad is interest in volunteering in the national parks of the USA.
- MealsonWheelsAmerica.org: Your dad can deliver food to the hungry by volunteering for Meals on Wheels.
- You don’t have to look far for volunteering. Your dad can also help out his neighbor(s) with simple tasks if they are not able to do this anymore.
If you want to read more information about why volunteering is popular among so many retirees, I recommend reading my article, Why Do Retirees Volunteer?
8) Create A Bucket List
One of the most tangible, effective, and simple ways to help your bored dad in retirement is to create a bucket list for him or together with him. It can inspire him to make the best of his time in retirement. Also, setting a goal like pursuing something on a bucket list is very powerful. A goal gives your dad a direction in life. It helps to move forward in life and gives your dad a reason to get up in the morning.
Life is all about creating beautiful memories and having extraordinary experiences.
This Bucket List Book & Planner can be a great gift and can work as a motivation and inspiration to help your dad make the best of his life. It is full of incredible places and unforgettable experiences and includes planning pages and 100 journal pages so your dad can capture each experience.
9) Motivate To Start Gardening
Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in retirement. It is the most perfect activity in retirement.
As I explain in my article 11 Science-Based Benefits Why Gardening Is Good For Seniors:
Gardening is the perfect activity for getting regular exercise, strengthening mobility, coördination, reducing stress, and increasing social interactions. Research shows that gardening increases problem-solving, which helps maintain the brain’s cognitive functions—seniors who are actively gardening reported benefits like better physical and mental health.
So getting your dad into gardening can help him tremendously in all ways of his life. Did you know that there is a great online class on Masterclass about gardening too? In the Masterclass of Ron Finley, he teaches your dad how to grow his own food, keep his plants alive, and find beauty and freedom in gardening, no matter the size of his space.
10) Find A Trusted Caregiver
When your dad needs a bit more care, you can consider hiring a trusted caregiver.
Care.com is a fast-growing platform that connects families with local trusted caregivers, dog walkers, and pet baby sitters. You can find a trusted caregiver for your dad, or you can find him a pet to take care of a couple of times a week/ month. Many families have a pet and would love to find a senior that will take care of their pet a few times a week/ month.
11) Encourage To Become A Mentor/ Coach or Consultant
With a decades-long career, your dad has gained a lot of life experience but also an enormous knowledge and expertise in a certain type of field. You can encourage your dad to use this expertise and become a mentor, coach, or consultant.
For example, he can work as a freelance consultant at his previous company, become a sports coach for the team of one of his grandchildren or be a mentor for kids or old coworkers. It can be paid or on a voluntary basis. As you can see, the oppurtunities and possibilities are endless.
Perhaps he just isn’t aware of these possibilities, and you just have to bring it to his attention. Or perhaps make the first move when he needs that extra help.
12) Plan Weekly/ Monthly Family Dinners
If your dad is struggling, why not make an effort to create a new tradition with a weekly or monthly family dinner. It will make him feel like he still matters, which is huge and will only boost his self-confidence and help him get out of this negative energy flow. It also gives him something to look forward to. Every week, that one appointment acts as a coat rack (as we say in Dutch), where he can plan his life around more easily.
13) Inspire To Learn Something New (Together)
Staying mentally active is important to maintain brain health. In fact, getting mentally challenged every day helps your brain to function 30 years younger within just 6 weeks!! And doing it together creates joy for both of you and strengthens your bond.
Get inspired with this list: 30 Awesome New Things To Learn After 50
14) Plan A Trip
Half of the joy of going on a trip is not the actual trip but the planning beforehand.
That is why planning a trip for your dad will give him something to look forward to and keep him busy.
If he is alone, don’t worry. There are so many people traveling alone and having the time of their lives. It’s the best way to meet new people and experience new countries and cultures. And if your dad doesn’t want to travel alone, then he can find travel buddies on websites like Travel-Buddies.com and seniortravelbuddy.com.
Or you can go on a father-daughter, father-son trip or family trip.
15) Start Building A Family Tree
Now this will keep your dad busy for quite some time. Introduce him to the hobby of genealogy: “the study and tracing of lines of descent.”
You can gift him a My Heritage DNA test to reveal his unique ethnic background and match him with his newfound relatives. He can discover the specific groups he (and you) descend among 2,114 geographic regions and explore billions of historical records. He can make a family tree or write a family history book that will also be interesting for you.
Many senior citizens love to dig up things about their past, trace their ancestors, find answers and search for new relatives. Building a family tree or writing a family history book is a popular and meaningful activity in retirement.
16) Encourage To Go Outdoors
Nature works wonders for everyone. We are nature, and we lost our nature because we live between 4 brick walls. Therefore, it is vital for anyone to reconnect with nature, especially for people who feel unhappy. We all have experienced that things feel lighter and clearer after a walk in nature or a dive in the ocean.
If you want to help your bored dad in retirement, encourage him to go outside as much as possible. Being in nature reduces stress, boosts the immune system, and improves mood.
Even if it’s a daily brisk walk in the morning. Those couple of minutes of physical exercise and fresh air every day can have a massive impact on your dad’s physical and mental health. And it will give him the energy he needs to find a way to avoid boredom in retirement.
Also, send him my article: How Do I Not Get Bored In Retirement: 10 Helpful Tips.