Sunday, June 19, is Father’s Day. Are you stumped on a gift idea for your senior father or grandfather?
It can be tough to figure out the right Father’s Day gift for seniors — especially if they, like so many, are trying to downsize in their retirement, or are preparing for a move to a retirement community. It’s even more difficult to find the perfect gift for an older loved one who is recuperating in a short-term rehab facility or who has been placed in long-term nursing care.
From items to help him with daily tasks, to cheerer-uppers, to useful things to help him every day in his retirement community apartment, there are plenty of gifts out there to brighten your aging dad or granddad’s day! Let us help you brainstorm.
Give the gift of independence
Does your aging dad or granddad have trouble walking, standing up, or reaching for things? Does he try to avoid asking for help?
As they age, many men find it difficult to admit they need help, or to ask for it. That’s especially true of men who grew up in an era when Gary Cooper-like strong, silent stoicism was idolized and men felt pressure to be the sole providers for their families.
If your father or grandfather is aging at home or in his own senior apartment, you might try getting him something that will help him remain as independent as possible.
Grab bars for the hallway and bathroom could help him stay safe and avoid falls. An induction cooktop for the kitchen could help him prepare meals with less risk of burning himself. A pistol-grip reaching tool could help get items off high shelves or pick things up off the floor without painful bending, stretching and twisting.
Another thought: Does your dad or granddad have hearing loss but refuse to get hearing aids because he’s concerned about the expense? Hearing aids usually aren’t covered by health insurance plans; take him to get fitted for his devices and purchase them for him.
Provide for him like he provided for you
What does your dad need? New clothes or shoes? Groceries? Medications filled? Bills paid?
Sometimes the best gifts are the ones that take care of basic needs. Who wouldn’t appreciate a month’s holiday from worrying about the phone bill or the power bill? A week’s worth of groceries can be expensive on a fixed income — try a grocery gift card, or take him for his regular shopping and surprise him by picking up the tab at checkout.
Does your dad take a lot of prescriptions? He doesn’t need another pill organizer — pick up his copays for a month or two and free up some money that he can spend on fun or other necessities.
Does he have a Medicare supplement plan? If he already has one, pay his premium a month or two in advance. If not, look into purchasing extra coverage for him.
Get him something to enjoy, and enjoy it with him
There’s nothing your dad or granddad will appreciate more than spending time with you. Make the most of it.
Does your dad or granddad love music? Take him to a concert; or, if he can’t get out and about, make him a mix CD of his favorites. Bring over your tablet and a couple of pints of ice cream to enjoy, punch up his favorite live concert performance on Qello, and listen with him.
Is he a sports guy? Take him to a game, or come over and watch some with him in his room.
Is he a movies and TV guy? Get him a big-buttoned master remote with backlit keys, so that he can more easily surf channels.
Or, just bring him dinner, sit down and have a nice long talk. Be there for him. Hold his hand. Give him a big hug and tell him you care about him. Even the man who needs little, needs love.