Coming up with gift ideas for elderly men can be frustrating, because many senior gentlemen have already accumulated most everything they need or want. Older men may also be downsizing to move into a smaller home and not want anything more to pack. Still, given the contributions many seniors have made, it’s important to honor them with meaningful, enjoyable gifts.
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Although senior men receive holiday and Father’s Day gifts just as younger men do, other gift-giving occasions are different. With milestone birthdays like 90 and 100, birthday gifts for elderly men take on special significance. Older men with grandkids enjoy gifts on Grandparents' Day. These days, it’s not unusual for a man to retire as late as his 70s and receive gifts at his retirement party. Some adult children also buy their father or grandfather a wedding anniversary present, even if their mother or grandmother has passed away.
Like younger men, many older gentlemen appreciate tech-gadgets, tools and sports-related gifts. Often, though, experiential gifts are more appropriate for elderly men. Gifts such as tours, parties, lessons and chances to meet interesting people aren’t something he already has, and they won’t clutter up the house. For example, a man who's always wanted to become a chef might like a "Chef for a Day" experience working alongside a local chef. Some gifts serve both purposes. A senior who loves gadgets can have fun learning how to operate a digital camera even if he rarely uses it afterward. A gift box of gourmet foods is something he can enjoy and won’t clutter up the house.
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Gifts do more than bring temporary pleasure. They also let the recipient know you appreciate and care about him. That’s why it’s important to choose gifts that closely relate to the recipient’s interests and personality. Gifts for elderly men can also provide entertainment and mental stimulation, and encourage exercise. Puzzle games and stretching exercise aids are possible ideas. These are particularly important for men with physical challenges who can’t get out as much as they used to. Presents such as easy-grip kitchenware, orthopedic chairs and amplified large-button telephones can also make a senior’s life easier and safer.
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Consider whether or not the elderly man has any physical problems that would limit his ability to use a gift. Potential issues include low vision, poor hearing, balance and walking issues, and trouble handling small items due to arthritis. This applies to experiential gifts, too. For instance, certain tours may be too long or rough for some. An older man with health issues may appreciate safety and disability aids as presents. A hand-carved ebony cane with a silver handle makes a nice luxury gift and helps the recipient walk.
Not all elderly men expect expensive gifts such as gold watches and Caribbean cruises. This is especially true if the recipient can afford these things himself. Your gift ideas should show you’re interested in him as an individual and willing to invest your time on his behalf. A hand-knit scarf in the recipient’s favorite colors carries more value than a pricey designer scarf anyone could buy. Similarly, not all older gentlemen want stereotypical “old man” gifts such as golf clubs, chess sets or backgammon boards, clocks and oldies music collections.
Nicole Langton has been a professional writer for over 10 years. She began writing for a natural health company where she developed a deep interest in nutrition and natural treatments. Langton earned a Bachelor of Arts in east central European studies as well as a certificate in English language to teach to adults.