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cadetjoecool's avatar

What can my grandparents do other than watch TV?

Asked by cadetjoecool (218points) May 10th, 2012 from iPhone

You don’t need to read this whole thing to answer the question, although hopefully it’ll give you a better understanding of where I’m coming from. 
My family lives with my grandparents, and between the two of them, (my grandparents) at least one of the three tv’s spread throughout the house is on from the moment they wake up around 8:00, untill midnight; My grandmother dose do some reading, cooking (with the TV in the kitchen on), and occasionally crossword puzzles, but that’s about it.

Now, yes I’m asking this question because the TV personally annoys me (I’ve grown to really dislike the negativity that’s in allot of shows [espesially the ones they watch, like the news for instance.] and commercials [some are good, but seriously, I just want all the stupid waist of time crap to leave me alone. That might sound a little recluse, but I think it’s quite the opposite as the lack of commercialism exposure frees me up to have real world experiences with real world people.]), but isn’t there something better that they can do other than sit around glued to a screen?

P.S. I think watching the tv is fine in reasonable doses, but all day, all night, all week is not reasonable…

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16 Answers

syz's avatar

What about Wii Fit? Online games for seniors? Radio classics on satellite radio (old radio serials)?

Or get them out of the house. Seniors bowling leagues, bingo, or volunteering with meals on wheels, or day care.

chyna's avatar

Cross word puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, books, gardening, walks if they are able to walk, volunteer at a library, hospital, etc.

JLeslie's avatar

I think your grandparents would probably love to do things with you. Play a boardgame, or take them somewhere outside of the house. A museum or a park. If they like watching TV, well, they can do whatever the heck they want in my opinion. But, if they like the idea of doing other things, the talk to them and see how you can help. Maybe invite some of their friends over for a visit or a card game? See if there is some groups they might want to get involved with. My dad goes to oasis meetings. Oasis is for people 50+. My dad’s group discusses current events, some of them meet for lunch. Oasis does othee things too. Maybe they would like to voluteer somewhere?

jca's avatar

What about your grandparents joining a senior day program, going on trips with seniors (perhaps through the local public library or local senior program? That would get them out of the house, moving so they’re not sitting in chairs all day, socializing with other people, plus make them tired at night so they sleep well. A senior day program is not all day, they usually run from around 9 or 10 to about 2. They would probably give breakfast and lunch, and they might provide transportation.

Sunny2's avatar

I sympathize with your needing a break from all the TV. Perhaps you could challenge them to a game of cards. Play penny poker, war, gin rummy, etc, which they could then play together.
Try talking to your parents about it. If they can’t or won’t help, consider more time at the library for yourself.

SpatzieLover's avatar

You live with your grandparents in their home. It’s their choice to own and watch that many TVs in their leisure.

I suggest you try to get outside more. Possibly invite them out for a walk to see if they’ll join you from time to time.

I took care of my grandparents for large chunks of time. I miss just sitting and watching their favorite shows or videos with them. My grandparents both had health problems that made them need periods of rest.

I always found that if I started cleaning or doing a project they’d both come to help me within a matter of minutes. “Oh I think I’ll go water the garden now” <———That would get one of them out weeding, while the other was planting or trimming ;)

You’ll need to be a bit creative, IMO. Out of all of the suggestions above, my grandparents would willingly walk, do museums (if they were up for that amount of walking) or the zoo, picnic/spend the day at a park, take a day trip in the car, do errands…anything like card games or spending time with “old people” was out of the queston.

jca's avatar

I spent a lot of time with my grandparents when I was younger. When they were in their 50’s and 60’s, they were still active enough to do a lot of stuff around the house and drive places and run errands, shop, and stuff like that. My grandmother died when she was 67, but my grandfather lived on, and did fine till he was in his 80’s. He died at 86. In his 80’s, he was in decent shape mentally, but physically he got more frail. He was no longer able to drive and had to rely on others for transportation and errands. He would have done well in a day program, but was the cranky type that would not have gone for it.

Right now my mom is almost 70 and she’s in good enough shape to do her own thing, takes art classes, runs errands, etc. She wouldn’t want to spend time with a lot of old people either. She would not need a day program. Lunches with her friends is good enough for now.

I write this because it might help if we knew the ages of your grandparents.

john65pennington's avatar

I am 68 and never watch television. I am not a couch potatoe. Even though I am retired, I still have not given up on life.

I believe writing on this computer is much more healthier than stuck behind a boobtube all day long. I will never do that.

Do your grandparents have a pc? If so, encourage them to learn its functions and join us on Fluther.

Using your brain cells and thinkig is much better than idle time and waiting for death, behind a tv screen.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Well, the seniors in my family have pretty much the same routine. TV, crossword puzzles, crocheting, cooking, reading. They can’t walk much, so walking and exercise is out. That is what people do in their old age. When I go to visit, though, we sit and talk – and sometimes play cards. If I stay for several days, we will watch certain shows together. I don’t see the problem, unless they are so involved with the TV that they won’t interact with you.

jca's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt: I think the problem is twofold: 1. it’s better for people of all ages to be moving, rather than sitting sedentary. 2. It’s better for elderly people to socialize rather than staring at a TV. When they socialize, it keeps their brains active.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Introduce them (and yourself) to Geocaching .
My 80+ yer old Mom loved it when we found something right near her house.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@ica My mom has had a hip replacement, bone spurs on her foot and weak ankles. My dad is very unsteady on his feet. It might not be healthy to sit around so much, but better that than to risk a nasty fall.

YARNLADY's avatar

All the elderly folk in my family have found their interests on the computer.

RocketGuy's avatar

When my mother-in-law visits, she turns on all the TVs and turns them to non-English language channels – usually languages she does not understand. Then she walks around or takes a nap. Occasionally, a Mandarin Chinese program comes up and she sits and watches. Ugh!

Her husband is an ace trap shooter, so he goes off to shoot, leaving her at our house with the TVs.

My mom has taken up art, and makes some $$ on the side. She used to buy out people at estate sales and make 10x $ by selling the items one by one at the swap meet.

My step-dad takes up different hobbies for short times: fixing neighbors’ plumbing, restoring junky cars, raising big koi fish for $, growing veggies.

Lots of things for older folk to do.

mrrich724's avatar

My grandparents go to the mall right when it opens and walk the whole thing.

rooeytoo's avatar

How old are they? I am 68, my mate 5 years older. We are grandparents but we have our own business which keeps us pretty busy. I run, play tennis, roller blade, wood carving, painting. My husband has his own set of hobbies. We walk and run our dogs together at least 2 times a day. And we both do some volunteer work as well.

Retirement is the worst thing to happen to people, unless they are ill of course. It takes away your reason for living and incentive to get out of bed.

Talk to them about getting a dog, that is being proved time and time again to be so good for aging folks.

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