8 Powerful Tips To Help A Retired Dad That Has No Hobbies

If you worry about your retired dad that has no hobbies or social life, this is the article for you. I’m here to help you help your retired dad with these 8 simple tips.

1) Ask Your Dad If & How You Can Help

The first thing you need to establish is if your worry is justified. Perhaps you worry about your dad having no hobbies is because you yourself wouldn’t feel happy having any hobbies. Maybe your dad is perfectly fine having no hobbies. This is something to think about before you interfere with your dad’s retired life.

When you notice your dad is unhappy, you could ask him how you can help him. Perhaps he is afraid to ask for help and therefore you could be the one to make the first move. The asking for help part is usually the biggest threshold. After that things are a lot easier. And your dad can point out where in his life he needs help.

There can also be the case that your dad complains a lot about his life, but doesn’t know how to turn things around. He doesn’t even know that he needs help, but you see that he struggles. Then you can try to interfere more in his life and encourage him in certain directions. For some people, this requires a subtle approach because obvious ones will upset them. And for other dads, the help can be more obvious and will be well received. You have to figure that out, and sometimes it’s trying by default, to see what works best. The following tips can help you out with that.

2) Apply Him For Classes

When your dad is bored and obviously wants something to do in his retirement, but doesn’t know where to start, you can apply him for classes. This way he can explore new hobbies and interests and learn new things along the way. You can check out nearby his home for 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. They all share their tricks, tips, and secrets via easy-to-follow videos that are accessible for everyone and any skill level. From Gordon Ramsay, Alicia Keys, Samuel L. Jackson, Ron Finley to many more exciting experts in their field. Your dad can learn anytime, anywhere, and at his own pace.

It’s an amazing gift for your dad and it will help him to explore new hobbies and get mentally challenged. Important keys to a happy and healthy (body, mind, and soul) retirement.

3) Explore New Hobbies Together

When your dad wants to have a fun hobby in retirement but needs help finding one. You can help him with exploring new hobbies together.

Often when someone has become inactive, the threshold to become active and make something of their life is too high. They lack self-confidence and need that extra outside push to get the ball rolling. Maybe your dad is alone or your mom isn’t the encaustic or stimulating type to help your dad get out of his rut.

Your positive stimulation, motivation, and presence in exploring a hobby are for you a small gesture and for him a big help. And by doing it together you have an extra opportunity to build a stronger bond. 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 finding a perfect hobby for your dad isn’t about hitting a home run right away. getting the exploration train moving is the hardest part. Along the way you and your dad will learn new insights and answers to what you do and don’t like. Trying out a new hobby creates positive momentum and helps to continue the quest. So why not 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.

4) Encourage Him To Exercise

As I mentioned earlier, getting mentally challenged on a regular basis is important for a healthy brain.

There is another way that also helps and that is exercising.

Exercising has many benefits. Besides the physical health benefits, exercising also improves mental health and helps the person to be more productive and tackle whatever life throws at them. Exercising is also an enormous energy and mood booster. Your dad will feel better after a workout. That is what we all have experienced before. Even though you don’t like exercising, you feel better once you’re done.

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 encourage 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 that day. And when he exercises each day this will lead to healthy habits and a better overall mood.

Perhaps this is an activity that you can do together. For example, can hike every morning, follow a fitness class every week, 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, like Aaptiv.

Aaptiv is the no.1 Fitness app with more than 1000 different audio and video workouts. 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. You’ll get the professional guidance of a certified expert trainer on demand.

5) Create A Bucket List Together

Another way to help your dad move forward in life is to set a goal.

Goalsetting is so important. It gives your dad a direction in life, a new focus point that will impact his day-to-day decisions, it helps him prioritize, gives inspiration, and ultimately more happiness.

A great way to make this a bit more fun is to create a bucket list. You can gift him a Bucket List Journal to inspire and motivate him. Or when you’re dad loves to travel this book: 50 States, 5000 Ideas will encourage him to go travel more.

And another way is to help your dad with creating a bucket list. It can be a fun activity you can do together.

When people think about bucket lists they always imagine it has to be extreme experiences. But that doesn’t have to be. It is the small moments in life that make it magical. And even dreams that seem impossible can be made possible with a step-by-step plan or a more creative approach.

Once you created a bucket list with or for your dad, you can help him try to tick it off. Because when the first one is ticked off your dad will get a taste for more.

Read more: 25 Great Retirement Bucket List Gift Ideas

6) Motivate Him To Go Into Nature

Does your dad spend a lot of his time indoors? Then it’s wise to encourage him to go outside more. Get him back into nature, that is where the magic happens.

Being in nature reduces anger, fear, and stress, and increases the mood. Nature will make your dad feel better emotionally. And it also contributes to your dad’s physical health: reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. 

Negative ions are the key to well-being. They strengthen the body’s immune system and stimulate the supply of oxygen to the brain, activating the mind and the body as well as bringing more mental energy. Most negative ions (from 5,000 – 50,000 per cubic centimeter) are present in the mountains, at sea, and in forests. 

Motivate your dad to take a walk in the park, start gardening or take a swim in a nearby lake, river, or ocean.

To give you some insight into what it can do, continue reading:


Sunlight boosts serotonin levels in the body. This hormone improves your mood and makes you feel calm and focused.

Also, your body produces vitamin D when you’re exposed to sunlight. No wonder it’s called the “sunshine vitamin” because it helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for bone health. Experts from Healthline suggest that you need 5 to 15 minutes of sunlight on your arms, hands, and face two to three times a week. That is enough to enjoy the vitamin D-boosting benefits of the sun.

And taking off sunglasses can benefit as well. The sunlight gives signals to particular areas in the retina (eye), which triggers the release of serotonin. But don’t look directly in the sun because that harms your eyes.

Fresh Air

Fresh air can help your dad refresh his mind. And it helps digest food more effectively, improves blood pressure and heart rate, and strengthens the immune system, leading to a healthier life.


Ever felt refreshed or energized after a jump in the ocean? Well, that’s because magnesium-rich seawater helps promote our body’s natural relaxation process leaving us feeling refreshed after each swim. It relaxes our muscles; it reduces stress and helps induce sleep.

The unadulterated bacteria and iodine in the sea ease constipation and cleanses the gut, which is why it makes you feel more energized after a jump in the ocean. And the bacteria help improve our immune function, and the magnesium improves nutrient absorption in the body resulting in better metabolic activity.

A jump in the ocean or a salt bath regularly can help your dad feel much better.

7) Be A Matchmaker

Another way to help your dad is to be a matchmaker. As I described above you can find a match in the form of a new hobby or goal in life, but this time I mean to be an actual matchmaker.

In this role, you can help your dad meet new friends, find a new club, or find him a new romance when he is single.

First, ask your dad if he wants to meet new people and what qualities he is looking for in new future (girl)friends. This will make things easier for you.

And there are all sorts of creative and fun ways to make your matchmaking skills a success. For example, you can invite your dad’s neighbors over for a BBQ to get him more involved in his own neighborhood, visit a seniors community center together, post an ad in the local newspaper, hang up a sign at the local supermarket, or invite your co-workers/ friends parents over who is in a similar situation as your dad. Or organize a speed dating evening and invite retired single ladies, when you know your dad is a hottie.

Another way to find your dad a new romance is by using the best platform for meeting other senior singles and that is Eharmony

8) Sign Up For Volunteer Work

One of the most effective ways to help your dad is to sign him up for volunteer work.

It is one of the most popular activities in retirement because retirees love to volunteer.

And that is for good reason because volunteering has so many benefits. First of all, helping others makes you instantly happier. And it can do other things for your dad: creates a daily structure, gives a new purpose in life, creates opportunities for socializing and meeting new friends, and gives someone a happy and satisfying feeling at the end of the day.

Volunteer work can give your dad his feeling of worthiness back. The key to a happy retired life.

And to help you out even further, below are some interesting links where you can find volunteer jobs for your 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 interested 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.

Kirsten Veldman

Since 2017, my husband and I have been location-independent retirees. With hundreds of articles written, I'm passionate about helping other retirees!

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