Instead, he treks down his driveway and up the block to his mailbox once or twice a day, hoping for something more exciting than junk mail. "There's nothing in there," he says forlornly. "I keep looking."
Nash lives in Granite Bay, in Placer County. His wife died a few years ago. He lives at home, alone. Watching him trudge to the mailbox gave his daughter-in-law, Kim Nash, an idea.
Last Thanksgiving, she sat down with her family to announce that she wanted to start Blue Ribbon Box, a weekly gift box service for seniors. Kind of like a subscription veggie box, but with things like tea, candy, crossword puzzles and uplifting quotes.
"We purposely decided to go old school," says Kim. "That’s what’s missing these days, a low-tech version of a touch. A handwritten note. The mints we’re sending out are things that have been around for years and years, not necessarily new candies, newfangled things."
No Himalayan rock salt and caramel for these guys. Think Russell Stover and Sees.
Kim hand-writes a card to each senior, signing on behalf of the families who subscribe to the box. Then she fills each custom box according to the family member's instructions: Sugar-free? Able to do crossword puzzles?
"We often get things like: 'She’s living with dementia, she’s living at home, she loves cats, she loves sports.' Anything like that we’ll try to cater to," says Kim, as she places teabags and little toy owls in the box.
"My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's five years ago, and just passed away two weeks ago," she says. "It was quite the journey. I’m realizing more of my friends in this age group... their parents are going through different struggles. How can we help [our parents] and make them happier? Unfortunately, their worlds are getting smaller, more isolated."
As she prints out the labels for the next batch of boxes, Kim says they’re not all for seniors.
"There are also some recipients of our boxes that are in their 40s that have multiple sclerosis. We have a good friend who we send it to from our book club, who is in their 50s with Parkinson's. It's for anybody who gets isolated for any reason. Could be sickness, health, or age."
Nash sons, Kyle and Austin, are involved in the business, too. They may not know what it’s like to have a parent with dementia, but they’re 20-somethings. They know about coding, web design -- something their mom wasn't prepared to tackle on her own.
Kyle and Austin run the website and part of the shipping operation from an office in San Diego, where the brothers also run another business. Kim and Russ Nash says their kids were always entrepreneurs. As teenagers, they helped run the family's smoothie store.
"We have some funny stories about selling rocks from our backyard thinking they’re diamonds and people buying them," laughs Kim. "Lemonade stands in the front yard. So it did start young."
Working together with siblings and parents could be a recipe for disaster in some families. But for the Nash family, it works.
"Everybody knows what their piece of the business is," explains Kyle. "My brother’s picked up graphic design. I’ve learned the coding aspects. My dad does the marketing, deciding, the higher-level stuff. My mom is the energetic one that’s the go-getter that motivates the rest of us."
"This is a business," says Russ Nash. "It’s OK to have disagreements. It's OK to fight for your idea. We don’t turn around and argue on Thanksgiving day about, 'Oh you screwed up at this thing at work.' That’s separate."
And this isn’t just a two-generation family business. Grandpa Nash is the beta tester.
"If I like it, [there's] gotta be some other old guys who would like it, too," he laughs.
He says he tries to give constructive criticism to his daughter-in-law, and his grandson, who designs the activity books and crossword puzzles.
"Old people don’t see well, so you gotta have big dark print," he tells them. "On the crossword puzzles, the first book had real small squares. There’s no way you could put a letter in that square."
The gift boxes have mostly been popular with adult children of the elderly. But some grandkids are subscribing, too. Like 27-year-old Courtney De Groof.
"It’s my way of connecting with [my grandmother]. I’ve lived in California my whole life, she lives in Pennsylvania. My grandfather actually passed away in March -- 62 years they were married," says De Groof.
After her grandmother received her first box a few months ago, De Groff got an unexpected voicemail.
"[My grandmother] was crying out of joy, because it was just so special to her," says De Groof. "Just a small box with some stuff in it, but to her it meant everything."
Courtney says her grandmother doesn’t actually care what’s in the box. It’s just the anticipation that the mailman’s gonna come with something more than junk mail. And that someone is thinking of her.