What can I do to help my father in law love life again?

I’m seeking advice on what I should do or how I can help my father in law. He is 75, and he lives on his own, Decently healthy. He lives in a house he built 40 years ago, alone. Now with covid restrictions, it’s almost as he’s depressed. We visit him at least two times a week, but his other children live farther away, and we all get busy. He’s bored and feeling extremely lonely. He makes comments about being ready to die. He will die in the house, so I’m not seeking advice about going into an assisted living. My question is, how to keep him enjoying life during this crazy time? How to keep him sociable when we get busy? How are you all helping your stubborn, older family members?


Maybe a pet or a couple chickens something for him to take care of or give him a job to do making something someone needs something to make him feel he has a purpose.


Get him an old English bulldog dog there great fir depression


Frequent video calls. Pets. Introduce him to technology if he is not there yet.

can he join a bowling club and if he don’t want to play he can join as a social member a he might injoy that

Contact your Sr centers, lions clubs, local boy/girl scout troop maybe they could send him cards. Ask neighbors to pop over and chat. Set up a phone or zoom schedule for your family who lives further way. Reach out on your communities FB group looking for people to help keep his spirits up. Encourage him to take walks, or visit the library sometimes a change of scenery helps your mood.

Our “Gramp” was having issues with this especially since covid and my kids have introduced him to some online games they can play against him in and on his own and Netflix. Took a minute to get the ol’ IPad down , but once they got the apps downloaded for him and they started slow, he’s trying new things frequently .They get on and play everything from poker with fake betting to trivia … they are on the phone giving each other a hard time about whose winning etc . It’s good for the boys and Gramp.


Where are you located

Call him, let him listen his favorite music.

Why don’t you get him a rescue dog, a little one to keep him occupied and give him company? My mum is 80 and loves her cat and says she keeps her company and unconditional love. Just a thought? He can take it for walks, it might give him another lease of life and responsibility :relaxed:


Looking to like an adult day care type deal. he doesn’t exactly have to attend but sometimes they have small get togethers zoom meetings you know different ways to interact during this time

Get him a puppy :grin: will definitely keep him busy. Ask him, what dog he always wanted to have. Surprise him :speak_no_evil:

Take him to a pet rescue. Let him find a friend

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I’m 71 and I still work, sometimes you just have to keep your mind moving and never give up. He should find something to do, something he loves to do. Just saying.


Something he could build perhaps a dog so he gets out with the dog and then he has company too could he make meals for you could he join a walking club or does he know someone that would walk with him socially distanced of course x

Get him involved have grand kids invite him to stuff.

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sign him up on a silver dating sight. Can’t hurt. He just might see someone he likes. Older people are about more than kids and grandkids, much as they love them. He may make an online friend, who age wise has some similar interests, if nothing else.

A tablet and make him a facebook. He can follow his other kids lives and there’s tons of groups for all different things. And memes lol. It might help him feel connected


Introduce him to tik tok I showed an elderly lady this and now she watches every day and loves it

I was just going to echo Shelagh’s comment there are groups that team people of mixed age groups to pal up to chat & it is mutually beneficial. It was on Morning Live on BBC this morning. Very positive I think! I am approaching 70 & though I love my family dearly, it is the unexpected friendships and kindnesses that have been shown to me by my new found friends having moved on 20 March just prior to the first Lockdown!

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Hobbies and projects could help keep his mind off things and keep his time filled, I know my grandpa use to do carpentry whenever he was board so he got into that for a very long time and was very good at it :relaxed: he even use to make a few bucks off some of his work!

I believe Age UK offer companionship to the elderly. Just having someone to talk to regularly will help I’m sure XX

Maybe have him volunteer somewhere like a hosp it will help meet all kinds of ppl

A dog might help. . . I suffer from Anxiety and Depression from really awful health problems and it was severe it was going to end up Cancerous. So with my weight gain, hair loss, no energy, it all ended with extreme depression and many anxiety attacks a day. The thing that really helped me was my daughter and my dog. He is so sweet. I don’t understand how people can be so mean to dogs. But that is my suggestion. When we are in such a huge depression taking care of a pup helps bring a sense of meaning and joy in your heart. You feel needed. And because you feel needed you look forward to your days because you end up spending it with your fur baby.


Does he have have Netflix

A dog or pet? The company and someone else to look after might help him have something to look forward to every day

Have him foster animals they are great companions, when your helping living things it makes you feel better about life


What kind of stuff is he into my grandmother before she passed loved movies so we would take her movies every week my grandfather loves cards so we got him a bunch of handheld electronic card and slot machine games

Introduce him to some different senior spots where he can go talk to people and he can go play canes and so on and so forth and set up his transportation immediately

What about joining a Men’s Shed :hugs:

Have him record stories for the children they will cherish the recordings you will all enjoy them also


If he is still able to work with his hands why not asking him to build a Christmas gift for the kids… since he built his house… maybe make a wooden boat or a chest or anything ur kids like and that they can remember him by it…


Get those face time things and set up a fact time game night once a week with all the kids also online chat sights …also post a thing on fb seeing if anyone is looking for a pen pal to be penpals with grampa


Maybe go to a senior center if available? I know with covid going on, it might not be possible. Try a new hobby?

A pet dog would be the best option. Maybe as a Xmas present?

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Is there tinder type apps for old people?

Introduce him to the ladies his age preference and allow him to have a life free of judgment. He needs adult friends.

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Keep visiting him… if you have the means, rent a cabin or a airbnb & take him out… my dad is the same right now . The thing that helps is when i visit with my daughter & take him on socially distanced mini vacations

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Listen to music, watch movies, read,

check local senior center’s facebook pages. they’re streaming a lot of activities. you can also check out library calendars for online events.

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Let him go with yall

I would suggest maybe not bringing up assisted living accommodation with him if he doesn’t need physical help just yet. If he is independent he won’t want to go somewhere like that. Where I live there is a retirement village where elderly can buy apartments and bungalows and can get checked on regularly but don’t have to receive care if its not needed. It has shops, hairdressers, a gym, all sorts of things but isn’t restrictive or a locked facility. People keep their independence but have plenty of company around. Is there anything like that where you live? Hope you find something to help him. Good luck :+1: :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:x

If he’s saying he’s ready to die, don’t take his choice from him. It will be the last he ever makes. Don’t force him or guilt trip him into doing things. Ask him what he wants and needs and respect his answers.
Take it from someone who didn’t listen and is living with regret every day. You don’t want him to hurt and you don’t want how I feel. Just make sure he knows he’s loved and matters.


My dad 74 and still working as a geoogist refuses to retire still goes and takes lobg walks daily in the bush. Travels to mines etc. Says hes not old and wont be called it. My sis told him he was getting to old a cupl of years ago and boy was he mad. We all love together they have flat outside we in big house. My husband now gos to work with my dad. I just let my dad be himself and go with wat he wants. Ma dont even complain that he should slow down anymore. Love him and visit him call him alot.be intrested in all they have to say. Thats wat we did wen my gran was still with us and she got very dpressd wen her hubby died b4 her. Thats all u can do.

my advice, spend as much time as you can with him, i understand people have their own lives to live, but try to include him in your life. he wont be around forever unfortunately…bring him to your house or go to his and watch movies, cook something, talk about the past, take pictures, build something, sing a song, have a laugh, anything that he likes to do :slight_smile:

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Does he know how to video call, I had to teach few of my family elders how to work the internet to socialize more they seemed to been more lively after.

Maybe get him out for dinner,ask him what he would like to do that he never had a chance to do make a bucklist

My dad started wood carving small animals. He joined a whittling wood working group in Pheonix AZ.

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My FIL is 74 similar situation…
Enjoy crazy fun life… That is what we are doing… We call singing old hits… Shown up in crazy outfits… Skits… Window tic tac toe… What ever comes to mind… He loves it… But what brings him joy is talking about the past what he used to do in his prime… Asking questions… Bringing cake over he gets it from the door then meets by the screen window to eat it ( I already have some on a plate )and talk…
Now with social distancing… Measure visually plus 2 to 3 feet being funny outside and throw crap at each other… Think out of the box

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Is there a local senior center. Sometimes they have card games, bingo and other activities where he can do stuff and make friends. Also what about a senior dog for company?


Maybe have family dinner once a week, have a shopping day with him for things he needs, Have his grandkids sing to him, draw him pictures or help with chores around the house depending on their ages to keep him company. If you go to church take him to church with you. Listen to his stories even if you have already heard them let him tell it again.

A older pet if he is capable

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There are social sites to zoom - See and Talk to others his age

You ever heard of something called Silver Singles I believe? I saw a commercial once. Online service for older daters. Teach him how if he lacks knowledge of technology.

Show him technology! My grandma was very depressed being alone, she ended up having some financial issues so she moved with my mom but she still gets lonely, they are busy a lot. She has a fb and my kids have kids messenger and they call her a lot, she plays games on fb, and connects with old friends, its truly helped her keep her spirits up especially now that she doesn’t work or get out a lot


Can you get him into a hobby something that can connect him to people online? Make new friends through this.

I’m 67 and if I can I get out and walk sometimes on my own & with good friends, it is lonely and hard, he will have to do it himself, with some encouragement from friends and family.

I am 84 woman, and run a craft group once a week the ladies are in lock down at the moment but I phone them when I can to try and keep them motivated we try to help each other. see if there is anything you could ask him to do for you or someone else any little thing just so he feels needed or useful ask him something you would like to know so he has to look it up or really think about it. I know it’s difficult because my husband is 84 and not into clubs or anything no hobbies but I do make him feel useful, it must be so hard to be on his own with to much time to think. What a good daughter in law you are we have a brilliant daughter in law but at the moment dont need to call on the family for anything but I know she will be there for us if needed,bless you for what you do

If he built his home, then I’m assuming he likes working with his hands. I wonder if he would be able to learn how to make little wooden toys for kids. Like little cars or trucks and stuff. My great grandpa would build little beanie baby holders back when they were a thing and people would collect them. Then you could deliver them to the children in the area by contactless delivery of course. Itll make the kids happy, and it’ll make him happy for helping others.

Suggest something he can do to “help you” like building something or making something. A lot of elderly feel they don’t have a “purpose “ and if you give one he might be happy to help you. And feel “useful”.

For example, casually mention how you need a bookcase for your kids books, and maybe he can whip one up for you.

My partner’s Mom is on her own without any family support, we are all 500 miles away. She is 89 in April and hasn’t left her house since May but she rings people and she is so positive. If he can tell him to walk, it brightens the mood and you never know who else would like an hello even if only from across the way. This is affecting all ages, I haven’t seen family since July but we just have to stay positive, the end will come

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Is he tech-savvy? My 87 year old grandpa just learned to use a kindle fire and he loves it. There’s so much news to read, videos on YouTube, streaming content from his church and crossword puzzles and games…it keeps him busy! We also bring him food several times a week and visit with him often.

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My father (widowed ) . I lost my mom about 2 years ago , started dating from match.com site and found a potential partner .

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Maybe he should get a little job. That gets you out of the house and around people. I and most of my family are working over the age of 70. We love our jobs and feel fulfilled. We still ha e plenty of time for fun. Not everyone is happy completely retired.

He is not the only one girl. Is so sad what are we going thru. Somethings i feel the same way
Just pray for him.

Volunteer work. Hopefully keeps him busy and helps the days pass faster. Plus he gets to socialize and help others. Win-Win situation :raised_hands:

find some place that interests him where he could volunteer. I’m alone too but I love to volunteer. It helps others and helps me feel needed

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