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Ideas for Celebrating Father’s Day with Your Senior Dad

Father’s Day is a time to honor your Dad – returning all of the love, admiration, and generosity that he’s given you over the years. This year, take a little extra time to plan some special activities and gifts that will create incredible memories.

When planning your Father’s Day activities, first consider Dad’s needs and preferences. Is he the type that wants to go and do, or stay and relax? Think about mobility, accessibility, and cognitive limitations or preferences.

Let’s get to planning.

Dad’s that Like to Go and Do

Is your Dad still active and likes to get out and go? If so, try some of these ideas.

1. Stroll through a museum

Find a museum that will capture your Dad’s attention.

Is he an art buff? If so, the local art museum might do the trick. (The DIA is free for residents of Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties.) If he’s a veteran, a trip to a war memorial or an air museum might be more enjoyable. (Try the Yankee Air Museum in Belleville).

Find a museum that inspires your Dad to tell stories and reminisce. Reminiscing and storytelling are incredible tools to engage the mind and may enlighten you to some untold family history.

2. Go for a treat

Who doesn’t like a tasty treat?

Find a favorite ice cream parlor, bakery, coffee shop, or microbrewery. Enjoy sharing his favorite treat and the great conversation that is sure to follow.

3. Watch a game

If your Dad is a sports buff, score some great seats and take him to see his favorite team. Even if it’s a little expensive, a shared moment like this will be priceless.

4. Go fishing

Nothing says Father’s Day like a day of fishing.

Find a private pond, a quiet dock, or slip away on a boat and enjoy a day of casting and chatting. Who knows, you might hear a new tall tale or two.

5. Take a drive

Did your Dad ever take you on a Sunday drive? Is there an old neighborhood where he or your family used to live?

Getting in the car and taking a ride down memory lane can bring on a whole new conversation. Encourage your Dad to be the tour guide. Have him show you around to his favorite hangouts, old neighborhoods, and schools that he attended.

Each location will encourage storytelling – which is always a blessing.

Dad’s that Prefer to Stay Put

Is your Dad a homebody, has limited mobility, or is experiencing cognitive impairment? No problem, choose one of these more laid back Father’s Day agendas.

6. Flip through a photo album

Grab a photo album off the bookshelf or coffee table. Ask your Dad to tell you the stories behind the pictures. Take notes or record the stories for yourself and future generations.

As an added benefit, browsing old photo albums is excellent reminiscence therapy for fathers who have Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

7. Play some favorite music

Nothing triggers memories and emotions like music. Take the time to create a custom playlist – songs that are familiar or nostalgic.

If your father’s love for music goes deeper than the casual listener, let’s think about enhancing the experience.

Can you use a turntable and vinyl records for your music? Or does your Dad have a stash of records or cassette tapes? Taking the time to find and incorporate the physical with the audio aspects of music can be powerful.

8. Play games

Games are fun, social, and mentally engaging. Their cognitive benefits make this a fun and therapeutic activity.

Brain games have become a hot topic in caregiver and senior circles. So, a simple Google search or browsing Pinterest will bring you a ton of creative ideas.

Here are a few to get you started:

  • Grab a deck of cards and play Dad’s favorite card game
  • Find a jigsaw puzzle of a familiar place or movie, or interests like cars or sports
  • Strike up a round of bingo with the whole family

Games are a simple, fun way to spend the day with Dad.

9. Host a BBQ

Was your Dad the Grillmaster?

There’s nothing more fun than having family and friends gather and share great food. Take the time to plan a BBQ and make Dad the center of that event.

Honor him by celebrating a classic summer activity, one he’s probably hosted over the years.

10. Bring the family to him

Is your Dad in an assisted living or memory care community?

Don’t make this a limitation. Bring the family and friends to him.

Many assisted living communities are hosting Father’s Day celebrations. Join in on the fun right where he’s at.

Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

Top the day off with the perfect gift.

A simple, thoughtful gift can brighten your Dad’s special day. That gift can also remind him every time he picks it up how much you adore him.

Here are some simple gift ideas that will become daily joys for Dad.

Books

Books are amazing windows to other worlds – fantastic, historical, or distant. Whether in the form of text, audio, or pictures, these books can transport your father. He can visit past memories, interesting places, or enjoy a favorite fictional genre or world.

Subscription

You might have given up print media, but many seniors still love leafing through newspapers or magazines. Subscriptions make a great gift for Dad and can keep him engaged and curious about the world around them.

Music

Get Dad a turntable. Then, take him to the music or antique store and let him treasure hunt for some classic vinyl records. . If he’s tech-savvy, add him to your Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube Music family plan. Set him up with an Amazon Echo or Google Mini. Then he can ask these AI assistants to play his favorite music.

Digital Photo Frame

We all love reminiscing with photos. But, sitting down and flipping through a photo album is getting to be old school. Instead, get your Dad a digital photo frame and load it with his favorite photos.

This gift will also encourage you to take the time to add new photos when you come to visit Dad.

If you or your Dad aren’t into the technology thing, then print a bunch of pictures and craft a collage wall .

Games

Like we mentioned earlier, games are fun, social, and mentally stimulating – making them the perfect activity to keep Dad active.

The other nice thing about games as gifts is the variety. You’ll have gift ideas for years.

Father’s Day is a Great Way to Say Thank You!

I’m sure your father means the world to you. Take the time to do something a little different and fun with your Dad this Father’s Day. The most important thing is also the simplest thing to remember, and that is to tell him thank you.