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Wisdom from our elders

Dad’s frustrated with limited activity while he waits for surgery

Dear Grandpad:

Dear GrandPad: My dad’s been laid up this year because of a delayed knee replacement. He’s always been active and outdoorsy, but now severe knee pain limits his activity, so he’s frustrated. He used to play poker and bridge, but the illness of a couple of group members has made getting together hard. He enjoys random research on the computer but he’s kind of shaky when it comes to safety measures and he knows it, so he’s hesitant to do much there. That makes me sad because he has so few other ways to entertain himself. He likes nature and science documentaries on TV which helps some. What else can he do while he waits for surgery? – FD

Dear PS:

Dear FD: Your poor dad! This kind of inactivity is hard on anyone but it’s especially hard on the outdoors types. He definitely needs some indoor interests.

A conventional but popular way for people to entertain themselves at home is with jigsaw puzzles, but a new twist on that could be model building. There are, of course, classic model airplanes, but how about ships, bridges, buildings, cars, or old trollies?

Or maybe something very different from what he’s used to? There are countless stories about older adults – many of them outdoorsy men who were never interested in art – taking up painting and loving it. You could buy him some watercolor paper and a set of paints and encourage him to start with abstracts or nature scenes. YouTube offers tutorials for beginners if he’d like some instruction.

Speaking of YouTube, since you mentioned your dad’s computer use, we thought we’d suggest a GrandPad, as well. Maybe for Father’s Day? This tablet would be perfect both for his research interests and entertainment. Internet access is included and customizable so that you could set it up in a way that he has access to safe sites he likes to use without either of you worrying that he will get drawn into something dangerous. YouTube access will make it easy for him to enjoy videos and tutorials whenever he feels like it.

With the provided access to both Texas Hold’em and bridge, as well as solitaire, word search, and memory games, he’s sure to find entertainment while he enjoys a shady spot outside.

We’re thinking, too, about his friends from his poker group. With a GrandPad, the touch of a button is all that’s necessary for him to connect with them on video to chat or even virtually play some cards.

There’s a choice of radio stations to listen to as well as music, including classic rock and country. Oh, and no worries about annoying scam calls, either!

We’re sure he’d love a GrandPad now, but we’re thinking long-term, as well. While we hope his knee surgery happens soon, there will also be a significant recovery phase before he can again become the active, outdoors guy he was. We wish him the best with his surgery and would love to know how he’s doing moving forward.

Live Grand is a weekly column brought to you by GrandPad — the simplest, safest tablet-based solution that helps reconnect families.

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