Forget the ties, shirts and slippers. Father's Day is a time to give serious thought to locating a logical, age-appropriate gift for an older dad. He may have reached a stage of life for disposing of a mounting assortment of useless "stuff" and adding to the collection is not beneficial. Consider his mobility, eyesight, hearing, interests and safety when choosing a gift.
Jennifer Prell, president and senior partner of A Silver Connection, a free eldercare resource network, recommends "a decorative bag to attach to a walker for storage". This aids in transporting small items from room to room. She also suggests an extra-long shoe horn to avoid bending while putting on shoes. Susan Wilson, from Susan Wilson Marketing, LLC, on behalf of Silverado Senior Living, offered that a "big button remote control for TV is an absolute must, along with a large-type list of what channels have Dad's favorite shows." He may appreciate nail clippers with an over-sized/soft grip that make nail trimming manageable for older hands, pill bottle magnifiers that enlarge prescription bottle labels for better visibility, and pill organizers designating sections for morning, noon, evening and bedtime to alleviate confusion regarding medications. Battery-operated electronic solitaire games stimulate the mind and exercise the hands. Ergonomic writing pens enhance the comfort of writing for those dads with arthritic fingers and distortion-free hand held magnifying glasses can help ease eye strain.
Dad may enjoy the memory of a special vacation, or perhaps there was a destination that he always hoped to visit but never had the opportunity. Present him with a photography book that showcases his favorite venue. The essence of long-revered vacation sites is captured through scenic photography in publications such as "Lasting Light: 125 Years of Grand Canyon Photography" by Stephen Trimble, "The Great Book of Italy" by Annie Sacerdoti, or "Tuscany: Inside the Light" by Joel Meyerowitz. Don't forget to write a personalized inscription in the book that tells the date and why you chose this particular book for him.
Whether he prefers classical, jazz, Broadway tunes or The Beatles, track down his favorite songs from the past. He might enjoy "Big Bands: Music from the War Years" by BBC Big Band Orchestra or the original movie soundtrack recording of the 1964 studio cast of "Oklahoma", and online stores provide ease of selection and delivery. A nostalgic visit to yesteryear via tunes from his younger days could send his spirits soaring. Be sure that the CD player is user-friendly and that he understands how it operates. Providing him with an MP3 player with his special music downloaded is also a viable option.
Purchase a gift certificate for a special service. According to Candi Wingate, president of Care4Hire, "We are finding here at Care4hire.com that purchasing gift certificates to hire a caregiver is a sensational gift. The elderly can get the companionship they need and also be provided with the little extra help they deserve." Additional possibilities for service gifts include haircuts, toe-nail clippings or a personal historian to record his memoirs. Prices vary with type of service, location and duration.
No material gift can compare to the pleasure he will receive from spending time with you. Simple acts of taking him out for a meal, a scenic drive, a concert or a religious service will warm his soul. Take a block of your day, a recording device and a prepared list of questions to ask him about his experiences in life. Then produce a gift that is preserved for future generations. The memories of time spent together are irreplaceable.
- old man 6 image by Harvey Hudson from Fotolia.com