Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Unique Gift Ideas for Seniors This Father’s Day

Father’s Day is June 15 and it’s just around the corner. But finding the perfect gift could be difficult—especially if your dad is a bit older. He may not need a new tie or a new set of tools, as those just aren’t relevant to his life anymore. Rather than buying a gift that will never be used, consider how you can show him how much he means to you with a special present or gesture this holiday. 
If Your Dad Lives at Home
While the best gift you could give is your own time, there are lots of other presents you can offer, too. For a dad who is still living in his own home, consider doing something for him that he cannot do on his own. Perhaps he cannot physically accomplish a task, or a project is not within his budget. No matter the circumstances, consider what services might help make his life a bit easier, like hiring a dog walker, a handyman to fix something up around the house, or a gardener to spruce up the lawn. 
If your dad cannot justify spending money on things he needs or wants, maybe a special gift card to his favorite barber, deli, or car shop would suit his taste. Think about what he needs or would enjoy, and think outside of the box. 
Another way to express your love is to install home safety devices for him. If he could use some extra stability, consider offering to put in grab bars in the bathroom and anti-slip strips in the tub. Showing your concern for his safety will likely be a gesture your dad will cherish. 
If Your Dad Lives in Assisted Living
If your father has moved into a senior care facility, you can promise to visit more frequently. You may also consider making “coupon books” for special activities together. Coupons might include taking a Sunday drive together, vouchers for going to his favorite restaurant, or tickets for other goods or activities that your dad can redeem. 
Another special gift might be to bring more of “home” to his new life in long-term care. Have a professional take a nice family portrait. Frame it nicely and hang it for him in his room. Consider special homey things that you could bring to him to make him feel more at ease and settled in.
If Your Dad is Affected by Dementia
More than half of all Americans over the age of 80 are impacted by dementia of some form. This common senior health concern can make it difficult to connect, especially if your father does not remember his history or recognize his children. But, there are many things you can do to help stimulate his memory and give him comfort. Research shows that the sense of smell is most closely related with memory. If your father was a hunter, camper, or avid outdoorsman, he might enjoy the smell of freshly mowed grass, leather, or pine needles. Consider putting together some potpourri that reflects some of his oldest pastimes. If he was a woodworker or car fanatic, he might find comfort in the smell of wood shavings or tire rubber. 
Father’s Day is all about honoring, respecting, and comforting your father. By spending some extra time together, and putting in some added effort, you can show him how special he is and celebrate all he has done for you and your family.

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