Father’s Day Gifts for Older Dads

I have a confession…I’m really bad at remembering important dates and I don’t mean the complicated ones — like important dates in history or personal milestones.  I mean common dates like birthdays, anniversaries and major holidays.  I’ve had this genetic glitch, as I like to call it, all my life.

But, there are two dates that I always remember and actually make plans to celebrate.  One date is my dad’s birthday, which is akin to a national holiday around my house.  My husband and I take the day off to spend with him.  And, once he turned 89, I upped the ante and started planning events for his birthday: a party for thirty people for his 89th, a tour of AT&T Park (home of the San Francisco Giant’s) for his 90th and a family dinner for his 91st.  To me, it is the simple act of saying: you are important, let’s celebrate together.

The other date I always remember is Father’s Day, which is quickly approaching next Sunday, June 16th.  As my dad got older, it was harder and harder to pick the perfect gift.  So about ten years ago, my husband and I started taking him to Vegas in lieu of gifts for this birthday, Father’s Day and Christmas.  The flight is only an hour; we go off-season, so it’s less crowded (if there is such a thing in Vegas) and less expensive.  Most importantly we spend three days together and have fun.

If your dad is older and no longer plays golf, lights up the BBQ or wears a tie to work, here are some gift suggestions:

  • BBQ for Dad: Enjoy a meal with your dad and take over as head chef.
  • Home Repair: Offer to do something around your dad’s house that your dad can no longer do, such as gardening or home repairs.
  • Play Tourist Together: My dad is a native San Franciscan but he’s never been to Alcatraz or driven down Lombard Street – the crookedest street in San Francisco.  We are planning to do these things this summer.  I’m sure there are sights your dad hasn’t seen in his hometown.
  • Cheer on Your Dad’s Team Together: Take your dad to watch his favorite sports team.
  • Car Detailing: My dad loved his car and as he got older it was harder to wash and wax it.  So one year, I got his car professionally detailed and it actually stayed clean for several years.
  • TV Ears: If your dad is hard of hearing, and everyone on his street knows what he’s watching on TV, this is the perfect gift.  TV Ears are a wireless headset that are comfortable to wear and have great sound.  Tip: buy the extra TV Ear Tips so your dad can change the pads every few months. (www.tvears.com)
  • Clothing: If you buy dad clothes, think about whether he can button buttons or raise his arms high enough to pull that cardigan over his head.
  • Cards: Everyone loves getting mail.

Whatever gift you pick, I’m sure your dad will be happy…that’s what dad’s do.


    1. I started this blog five months ago and was starting to wonder if my tips were of use to other people with older parents and your comment came at the right time. Thank you.


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