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Gifts for Father's Day 

Father's Day is June 17th and, despite the jokes about giving Dad that strange looking golf tie or other gag gift, what gifts might be appreciated by a Dad who is also a senior?

Father's Day started in the U.S. when Mrs. John B. Dodds of Spokane WA, after listening to a church sermon on the importance of Mother's Day, campaigned for a day to honour the contributions of fathers.  Her widowed father had done all the parenting after the loss of her mother, and she felt fathers should be honored for selfless giving to their sons and daughters as well as their financial contribution to raising their children.

If your father is a senior, Father's Day may remind you of some concerns you have.  Are your parents still safe in their own home?  Should Dad still be up on a ladder cleaning eavestroughs?  If you live at a distance, how can you stay in touch? Dads often have two standard phone questions - "How are you?" and "How's the house?" -  before saying, "I'll get your mother." 

How can you show your appreciation, and help and support Dad - without having him feel like you are trying to take over?

Here are some ideas for gifts that can help your aging Dad to stay safe, stay connected, or to help lighten the load he may face if he is still maintaining the family home.

  • Lawn and garden maintenance
  • Housekeeping help
  • Taxi or other transportation - gift certificates or passes
  • Hire or strike a bargain with a young driver  (e.g., driver takes Grandpa on errands or social visits in return for having the car on Saturday night)
  • Cordless phone
  • Long-distance calling plan
  • Home theatre components and a pile of classic movies on DVD
  • Subscriptions to magazines or cable TV
  • Helping him re-connect with old friends (e.g., travel or arrange a local event)
  • Fax or computer, to share pictures or messages without resorting to "snail mail"
  • Jar openers and other "good grip" utensils or tools
  • Night lights, dimmer switches, and motion-activated lights that increase safety
  • Liquid soap and shampoo dispensers, that minimize risk of falling in the tub

Small aids and supports can make a big difference to how a senior keeps moving forward in the face of age-related changes. 

To all the men who have worked to help raise children - be it their own or their grandchildren, nieces and nephews, or stepchildren - Happy Father's Day!


Vol. 3, No. 12
© ElderWise Inc. 2007.

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