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  • Melrose Meadows

Unique Gifts for Senior Dads

Sometimes when Dad is in senior living, it’s not always easy to think of gifts that will actually be meaningful. What can you, as a family member, do to help him in this new stage of life and show him how much you appreciate him as a father?

It’s simple. (No, really!) The best way to celebrate senior dads is to…

…wait for it…

…are you ready?…

…give a gift that makes him do something.

“Wait, what?” you’re saying. “Isn’t Father’s Day/Dad’s birthday/Christmas supposed to be all about relaxing and enjoying and not making him do anything?”

Well, yes. But at the same time, many men define themselves through their work, and when they’ve retired, they can be at a loss to know what to do. And as their role in the family shifts from “man of the house” to “man with grown children and grandchildren/great-grandchildren,” it can sometimes be hard for him to see what his role is.

That’s why the best gifts you can give to Dad are the simple ones…ideas that get him out and about, get his mind working and inspire his soul. Here are three categories that we hope will inspire you on how you can celebrate your senior dad on his special day.

Give the Gift of…Time

More than anything, senior dads want time with their family. It can be as grand as going to a favorite sports team, going on a weekend hiking trip or throwing a big bash. It can be as little as dropping by to see him and having lunch. The most important thing is to make him feel included and loved, even if all you can do is a heartfelt phone call because you live far away.

Pro tip: Giving the gift of time means even more when it’s not Father’s Day, their birthday or a designated holiday. Seniors can feel isolated when they move into senior living, so it’s important to make an effort to keep Dad in the loop of what’s going on.

Give the Gift of…His Words

We all groan when Dad tells that one tale yet again or cracks a typical “Dad joke.” Sometimes we can recite the punch line right along with him! As people get older, oftentimes they tell the same stories over and over again…which can be an awesome opportunity for you to record the “oral history” of Dad. There are lots of primers and outlines on the Internet for how to capture and approach interviews.

Another idea is to gather old pictures and ask your Dad to tell you the story behind them. Or even simply have him let you know when the picture was taken and who is in the picture. Even if there isn’t a story tied to it, it can help you map out parts of your family’s history for future generations. You may even learn something new about your father.

Give the Gift of…Purpose

If you dad falls into the category of “I’m retired and now have no idea what to do,” a great gift you can give him are ideas, suggestions and opportunities for him to explore an “encore career.” After all, 74 percent of older adults plan on getting a new job when they officially retire, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. For dads, this “second act” is a great opportunity for them to explore something they’ve always wanted to do or really pursue their passions.

Does Dad love to garden? Help him find a gardening group like the Master Gardeners who pursue continuing education and volunteer to beautify their communities. Is he a whiz with numbers? Tax preparation is a huge help for so many. Does he want to go back to college to earn a degree, or does he have experience and knowledge he can use to pass on to the next generation of workers? Check out local colleges and universities for continuing education and adjunct professorship opportunities.

A gift that keeps on giving is, as we all know, the best type of present anyone can receive. And therefore, a gift that allows him to grow and flourish can be priceless…for both him and your family.

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