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User Topic: Please help me brainstorm activity ideas for my injured dad
I think I can
Member # 17756
Default  Posted: 2:54 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)

My 70 yr old dad just hurt his shoulder and maybe spine in an accident, has to have surgery, and now can't fish or play golf all summer. He's an active guy--a "doer" and this is going to drive him crazy, plus the "facing mortality" aspect of the whole thing.

I could really use some ideas of big or little activities he could do. He likes to make things. He spends most of the winter in his woodshop. He does have money, so don't let that limit your suggestions.

Thanks so much. This is going to be really hard on him.

I'm not the winner, I'm the prize.

Posts: 8824 | Registered: Jan 2008
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 2:57 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)

What are his specific limitations?

You can call me NIK

"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana

Posts: 25699 | Registered: Aug 2011
Member # 9772
Default  Posted: 3:09 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)

My Dad is in his early 80's and has gotten into painting pictures and making his own frames (cutting/staining the wood).

Not sure if he could try that?

"Put the cuckoo back in the clock baby" - Four Brothers

Posts: 872 | Registered: Feb 2006
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 3:20 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)

Any interest in photography? Genealogy?

My dad is an engineer - a problem solver at heart, and he came alive when he picked up genealogy while he was recovering from double-hip replacement. He said it was the best puzzle he ever tried to solve. There's a wealth of information online, and it's fairly easy to get started.

You can call me NIK

"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana

Posts: 25699 | Registered: Aug 2011
I think I can
Member # 17756
Default  Posted: 3:33 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)

It's rotator cuff surgery--I don't really know how bad at this time. His dominant hand, of course. He was thrown from a horse. Possible spine compression--no surgery just rest for 6 weeks.

So I'm thinking shuffling around and he'll be able to do simple hand stuff, but not pressure or swinging or pulling for a long while.

Maybe small wood stuff like frames, thanks notmeanymore. And I'll ask about the photography and geneology--he does like to learn how to do new things. He is an engineer too!

Maybe he could take pictures of the activities he can't do right now......

He's also into astronomy and history......

I'm not the winner, I'm the prize.

Posts: 8824 | Registered: Jan 2008
Member # 25395
Default  Posted: 3:42 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)

My dad always does cross stitch when he is convalescing. It keeps him busy and he can do it for short periods of time when he is in pain or tired. Maybe your dad could try something like that if his injury allow for it?

Me: BS/39
Him: WS/37
DDay: August 23, 2009
Together 14 years.

Posts: 1677 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: not toronto anymore
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 3:53 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)

He is an engineer too!

You can call me NIK

"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana

Posts: 25699 | Registered: Aug 2011
Member # 8354
Default  Posted: 5:57 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)

What sort of fishing does he do?
If itís fly-fishing then fly-tying is an ideal hobby. Itís relatively simple to start tying easy flies, not overtly expensive (start-up can be from 50 bucks, a good startup 100-150).
If heís really good with his hands then rod-building. Thatís where he buys a blank and builds the rod.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

Posts: 5565 | Registered: Sep 2005
Member # 13333
Default  Posted: 6:03 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)

My H had rotator cuff surgery. It is PAINFUL and the recovery LONG. He had his surgery in the winter and had zero interest in doing much of anything. Heck the PT and home exercises will keep him busy!

My H did get seasons of shows on DVD from Netflix and the library...

Is your dad a reader? Computer literate? Would a tablet with OK internet access be appealing? Ebooks? Apps/games?

Indian wisdom says our lives are rivers. We are born somewhere small and quiet and we move toward a place we cannot see, but only imagine. From Tending Roses

Posts: 6547 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: WNY
Member # 36134
Default  Posted: 7:31 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)

If history is his hobby, geneology is a very good activity. There are usually groups of interested people who meet at the library or local historical society to compare notes, help with town research... etc.

Good luck.... It is so hard to keep busy when your laid up...

I trust you is a better compliment than I love you, because you may not trust the person you love, but you can always love the person you trust. - Unknown
Relationships are like sharing a book, it doesn't work if you're not on the same page.

Posts: 5256 | Registered: Jul 2012 | From: Florida
Member # 34262
Default  Posted: 8:04 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)

Wow! My Dad's a retired engineer also. Weird.

Is there any volunteer work he could do? Visiting shut ins, meals on wheels, etc. My dad has been teaching prisoners in his retirement.

Me: BS 45
Her: fWS 48 (same sex partner)
Together: 18 years now (both MDs)
OW: meh so what 40s PhD
DD1: 10/30/11EA; DD2: 11/10/11 Had ONS; TT until 12/26/11; broke NC 6/12; NC again 7/12; R-ish

Posts: 2239 | Registered: Dec 2011 | From: Great Southwest
I think I can
Member # 17756
Default  Posted: 9:10 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)

Bigger, he does fly fish--that's great!! He could totally tie ties. I can see him doing that. I'll find an introductory kit...rod building too. He makes duck calls already.

lost-in-toronto--I was thinking about knitting. Cross stitch also would work.

Lucky2haveme-thanks for the info on recovery. It sucks cause he had several big things he was planning on this summer. He is a computer guy--I got him a cheap 3d printer for his birthday and he's been noodling around with that.

purple he's not really a volunteer--kind of either a loner or a orderer-arounder

Thanks all of you--very helpful!!

I'm not the winner, I'm the prize.

Posts: 8824 | Registered: Jan 2008
Sad in AZ
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 9:23 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)

Knitting might be too much for the rotator cuff unless he learns continental style. Cross stitch might also be too much.

Fly tying sounds great. How about woodburning too?

Good luck!

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Posts: 20273 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
Member # 10506
Default  Posted: 9:48 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)

My Dad was also into woodworking and he made a few small book display racks for the local library Similar to this but not as fancy (no rounded edge or fancy insert) (I should also mention that the librarians loved him because of this :),or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.47380653,d.aWM&fp=47366c0356aa7522&biw=1440&bih=797&facrc=_&

That may be beyond what your father can do with his injury, I don't know.

He also used to volunteer at the senior center and consult and do taxes for the seniors. I know tax season is over, but there may be some other things at the senior center (or library) that you Dad could help with. Something that will allow him to use his analytical brain and feel useful. Or he may be able to find another activity that he enjoys, like cards. Most communities have a senior center.

Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or jigsaw puzzles may keep him busy during his early convalescence. Others have mentioned genealogy.

Swimming is a physical activity that is low stress to the joints. He can ask his physical therapist about other physical activities that he can do.


And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off
-- Shake It Out, Florence And The Machine

Posts: 17679 | Registered: Apr 2006 | From: A better place :)
Member # 11692
Default  Posted: 8:47 AM, June 5th (Wednesday)

He was thrown from a horse. Possible spine compression--no surgery just rest for 6 weeks

Never had shoulder surgery although I hear it can be pretty brutal. But I have been thrown from a horse and had a compression fracture of the spine. How recent was his accident? Are the xrays inconclusive - is that why you say possible? Cuz I have to tell you - the only hobby I had for about 2 months after was pain management. The only way I was able to talk around my nurse case manager's suggestion that I go to a rehab hospital once I was release from the "regular" hospital was agreeing to have a visiting physical therapist come to the house 3x per week.

It sounds like your dad's spinal involvment might not be as severe as mine - but I don't know if I'd worry too much about activities just yet, but maybe things he can do with extremely limited movement and maybe high as a kite (pain meds, lol!). For example I have a kindle fire that I can wirelessly download movies to and it can come with me into the bedroom or the couch or chair if I have to move around. Maybe a netflix subscription for some old movies or something? Once he's up and around again, just taking a walk can be exhausting but actually can help manage the back pain (hurts less if you get up and walk as often as possible).

Send your dad lots of healing mojo.

Me - BW
Him - WH

Posts: 6621 | Registered: Aug 2006 | From: Massachusetts
Topic Posts: 15