Father’s Day is just around the corner—and with the day comes the gift, something many people still struggle with. Finding the perfect present for a father who lives in assisted living should not be much more of a challenge than getting one for those not in assisted living. There are plenty of gifts and experiences that can make this Father’s Day a special one.
- Tablet Computer
A tablet, such as an iPad, is a great gift for a tech-savvy senior in assisted living. Tablets are easy to use and a great way for your father to keep in touch with all his loved ones. Spend Father’s Day explaining all its features, such as video call applications—and set up a call with grandkids who could not be there.
Show him games to help pass the time and keep his mind sharp, and download apps that help monitor exercise or diet. Try out some movie or TV streaming services so dad can watch his favorite films. Set up Facebook and Instagram accounts so he can reconnect with old friends and post pictures of loved ones.
- Pre-Loaded MP3 Player
Another gift for technology-loving older adults is an MP3 player such as an iPod that is loaded with all of dad’s favorite music. Not only can this be an opportunity to bond with your father as he sings along with his favorite songs, music has proven benefits. Various studies have shown that music may improve some behavioral issues associated with dementia, though care should be taken with any patients in the middle to late stages of the disease.
You can also provide a gift card along with the MP3 player, letting dad choose the music that he’ll listen to—and you can perhaps learn a thing or two about the music of his time.
- Flip Through a Photo Album or Make a Scrapbook
While Facebook and Instagram may provide a platform to post and share photos, there is sometimes no substitute for real, printed photos. Spend Father’s Day walking down memory lane, thumbing through a photo album of your family’s wonderful journey.
Look through old photos and rehash all the stories and memories they conjure up. Use photos to reconnect with your father on this special day, and to tell him how much it has meant to you to have him in your life. If you happen to have more time on your hands, and you are feeling crafty, a scrapbook can be even more personal.
- Attend a Ball Game
Rooting for your local team may bring back some beloved memories for sport-loving fathers. Whether it is a day trip to the ballpark or a weekend road trip to watch his favorite team play in a different city, your father will appreciate the chance to see his team in person once again. Most modern sports venues cater to their aging fans; many are also wheelchair accessible. Call stadium customer service to see if they will tailor your sporting experience to be both safe, easy and—most importantly—a load of fun.
If bringing your father to a game is just not feasible, bring the game to him. Watch a game in the comfort of the assisted living community, engage him in questions, provide refreshments and make him feel like he’s a kid sitting in the bleachers once again.
- Watch an Old Movie Together
Another experience you can replicate for your father in an assisted living facility is a trip to the movies. You can set up a whole movie night for him and his friends in the common area—complete with snacks and drinks—or simply watch a film in his room together. If your father would like to spend the day away from his room, there are plenty of theaters that run old movies and plenty more that run new ones your father may be interested in.
- Visit a Museum
Walking around and taking in artwork or historical artifacts is a wonderful way to spend a Father’s Day afternoon. Museums offer discounts to seniors on everything from admission to audio guides, which can be helpful for seniors that may have difficulty hearing an actual guide—and some museums even offer tours directly aimed at seniors. Whether it is art, history, science or another subject, there is sure to be a museum that your father will love wandering through. Invite the whole family to learn and share with dad on his special day.
- Go for a Hike or Nature Walk
Experiencing the great outdoors—the woods, a national park or a beautiful beach—can be the perfect way to spend Father’s Day with your dad. Your father will love spending time with his family exploring nature.
Another wonderful gift for Father’s Day is a nice set of binoculars to use while spending the day birdwatching along a nature trail. Pack a lunch or a whole picnic basket and find a nice place to stop and enjoy meal, and you can even end the day by admiring the sunset.
- Make It About the Community
If your father prefers staying in, check in with his assisted living community and see what kind of activities they may have planned. Most assisted living communities will have fun activities organized for the whole family. Partaking in them with your father could be a great way to connect and really get a sense of the community he surrounds himself with.
Your father may take pride in showing you around and showing you off to his friends and staff members of the assisted living home as well. Spending the day surrounded by loved ones in his home may be everything your father wants this Father’s Day.
Though gifts are fun, the most important thing to remember is that fathers will enjoy the experience of being surrounded by loved ones on their special day much more than any standard card.